Continuing the April in Paris recipe series. Another pasta recipe that intrigued me was Crozets de Savoie. They looked easy enough to make and the technique is simple so I decided to give them a try. As you may or may not know, the Europeans measure ingredients by grams so the recipe below uses grams to try to stay true to the French origins.
Origin of Crozets
The Savoie region of France has its’ own specialty pasta called Crozets. These are small pieces of pasta typically flat and square. This pasta was traditionally made at home by the housewife using wheat or buckwheat or both. Les Crozets first appeared in the Savoie in Tarentaise (located next to Mont-Blanc) in the 17th Century. However, it’s believed that the Crozetos were mentioned in a 14th Century Italian cookbook that was widely distributed in France. (Of course, the Italians would know about this pasta before the French!) The Crozetos were originally a small round shape made with the fingertip as the name comes from a cut made with the fingertip in the pasta dough.
Pasta or Rice?
Today, Crozets de Savoie are small, square-shaped, flat pasta. Crozets might be considered halfway between pasta and rice and can be cooked in many forms with a variety of ingredients. Recipes vary using mostly buckwheat flour to half or a quarter of buckwheat flour combined with another flour like wheat or all-purpose.
Beyond their taste, Crozets have great nutritional qualities. They are considered a probiotic when made from Buckwheat flour and promote digestion and the proper functioning of the digestive system.
[Resources: Web24.news, cuisine actuelle, tasteofsavoie.com,]
The buckwheat flour turned the dough very dark even though the ratio of flour mixture was 2 parts all-purpose flour to 1 part Buckwheat. I used Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat flour. I’m not sure all Buckwheat flours are as dark in color but the dough darkened quite a bit once the ingredients were combined.
And it’s soup! This is a simple way to use Crozets. I found it as tasty and comforting as most chicken soups that I make. I did miss the vegetables that I normally put in chicken soup but this was fine without them. I used more Parmesan cheese in the soup and as a garnish which kicked the flavor up a bit too.
French - pasta CROZETS DE SAVOIE
- 55 grams all-purpose flour
- 25 grams buckwheat flour
- 1 egg (55 grams)
- pinch of salt
- 6 cups chick broth
- 1 batch crozets
- 8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded or diced
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
- Mix flours and salt together in a mixing bowl and create a well. Crack the egg in the well and scramble it with a fork. Pull the flour in from the sides to mix with the egg and finish mixing with your fingertips to form a soft dough.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead until dough is non-sticky and smooth (about 5-8 minutes). Let dough rest for about 1 hour well covered in a ziplock bag or firmly wrapped in a plastic film so it doesn't dry out.
- Divide the dough ball in two and roll each (using a rolling pin or with a pasta machine. Pasta will be thicker than traditional Italian pasta. Sprinkle with a little more flour, fold over onto itself, and with a sharp knife or bench scraper cut 1/4" strips. Turn the strips sideways and cut 1/4" squares. (see photos)
- Sprinkle the crozets lightly with flour and toss between your fingers to make sure the squares are separated and not sticking together.
- Optional: At this point, I like to lay them out flat on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze for about 15 minutes while I make the soup.
- Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan and add the crozets. Cook until tender. Add the chicken and simmer for a few minutes before adding the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with more Parmigiano.