Reblochon, Pancetta and Potato Buckwheat Galette Cups and the Papal Basilicas in Rome

While I had been away from blogging for some days, I came back with a delicious recipe and a lot of pictures of the Papal Basilicas in Rome.  If you were watching the television last Sunday during Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus, I was a dot in the huge crowd under his apartment window, listening and reflecting.  I am not a very religious person and I am not the kind of person who would join throngs of people to be there.  I am the kind who would miss out on live experiences and just watch important events from the television in the comfort of my own home.  But that day, some friends changed the itinerary of their Italian trip just to be at the Vatican to see the Pope.  My husband and I went too.  And I never expected to be touched by the words of the Pope as he said goodbye to everyone to go for his choice of private life of prayer.  I realized how different it was to be present in such an event.

But I am thinking that you are here for the recipe of these delicious baked galette cups made with buckwheat flour then filled up with sauteed potatoes and pancetta, crumbled pieces of rebochlon and roquefort, topped with poached eggs and finally, seasoned with smoked paprika and fresh thyme.  Let's speak about food.

Reblochon and roquefort are both French cheese of very good quality.  Reblochon is popularly used in tartiflettes, the potato dish from the Haute Savoie region of France.  It's a mixture of potatoes, lardons (like pancetta), onions and reblochon cheese.  The first time I tried it in Chamonix, I was hooked.  I fell in love with the combination of flavors and everytime I feel like having a baked potato dish, I put together pancetta, gorgonzola and other kinds of soft mild cheese.  Reblochon is not commonly sold in supermarkets, only in specialty shops. 

Breton galettes are salty crepes made with buckwheat flour and filled with savory ingredients like ham, cheese and sometimes topped with an egg.  It's also one of my favorite French food.  So I guess this recipe is a combination of two of my favorite French dishes, baked and put together to the perfection of marriage of tastes.

Scroll all the way down for the recipe or read on to learn about the four major Papal Basilicas in Rome.   

There are four major Papal Basilicas or Major Basilicas and they are all located in Rome.   St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) in the Vatican,  Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano), Basilica of St. Mary Major (Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore) and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura).  I arranged the basilicas here at random, not in order of importance.  

The first basilica with the pictures above is Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura).   This basilica was erected in the 4th century by Roman Emperor Constantine I on the burial site of St. Paul outside the Aurelian Walls.  It had gone through many years of intensive modifications under different emperors and popes especially after the almost total destruction in 1823.    It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is not as popular as the other Papal Basilicas but it is worth a visit because its grandeur is impressive and it also has the portraits of all the popes.  Information taken from Wikipedia.

The Basilica of St. John in Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) (pictures above) is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope.  It was built in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine I.   Prior to its construction, there was the palace of the family of Laterani underneath the nave.  The basilica and the adjacent Lateran Palace had been the main seat and residence of the popes during the old times.  When, in 324, the Papal throne was placed in the basilica, it became the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, thus the mother of all churches in the city and the world.  The popes continued to reside in the Lateran Palace until the seat was moved to Avignon, France during the reign of the French Pope Clement V.  When the Avignon papacy ended in 1377, both the Lateran Palace and Basilica were too damaged that they were deemed inadequate for the papal residency.  The papal seat was moved to other basilicas in Rome then finally, to St. Peter's Basilica which is where they maintained residency until present.  Information taken from Wikipedia and Sacred Destinations.

The Basilica of St. Mary Major (Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore) is the largest Roman Catholic church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It was built in the 5th Century by Pope Sixtus III.  Under the high altar of the basilica is the Crypt of the Nativity or the Bethlehem Crypt, with a crystal reliquary said to contain wood from the Holy Crib of the nativity of Jesus.  Information taken from Wikipedia.

St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) is one of the largest churches in the world and is located in Vatican City.  The basilica is an impressive work of Late Rennaisance art deisgned principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.   

It is the burial site of St. Peter, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and the first Bishop of Rome and therefore the first Pope (see List of Popes). His tomb is under the baldachin and altar, as well as where the other popes are buried.   Almost 300 years after St. Peter was buried on the site, where it was marked by a shrine, the Old St. Peter's Basilica was constructed between 319 and 333 A.D. by Emperor Constantine I.   At the end of the 15th century, the construction of the new and present day basilica started and it was finished on the 17th century.  Information taken from Wikipedia.

Wishing you a wonderful week and I hope you enjoyed this post.  

Reblochon, Pancetta and Potatoes in Buckwheat Galette Cups

Makes 6 galettes

  • 120 grams buckwheat flour
  • 30 grams all-purpose flour (I used 00.)
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1 egg
  • 400 ml. water
  • knob of butter for cooking the galette
  • 100 grams reblochon cheese (can be replaced with delice du Jura, brie or camembert), chopped
  • 50 grams roquefort cheese (can be replaced with other kinds of blue cheese), crumbled
  • 2 - 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 200 grams pancetta affumicata (smoked pancetta), diced
  • smoked paprika
  • fresh thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt 
  • pepper 
  1. Prepare the galette batter 2 hours ahead.   In a bowl, mix both flours and salt.
  2. Pour the water in the bowl while mixing well with a wooden spoon.  Add the egg and mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or clean dish cloth.   Refrigerate for 2 hours. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.  Boil some water in a pot.  When it starts to boil, add some salt and the potatoes.  Cook for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan with about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, sautè the diced pancetta.  When they are getting toasted, add the potatoes.  Season with pepper.  Toss together for 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  6. After two hours, take out the galette batter from the fridge.  Whisk to mix the flour that settled at the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Prepare a crepe pan or a medium saucepan.  Put a little knob of butter on the pan.  When it melts, swirl it around the pan.
  8. On medium fire, pour the galette batter on the pan and swirl to distribute well around the pan to make a thin crepe.  Cook both sides.
  9. Rub butter or oil on 6 muffin pans or small baking bowls.  Put the galette in each bowl, being careful not to break them.
  10.  Fill with the potato & pancetta mixture, chopped reblochon, gorgonzola and a few leaves of fresh thyme.  
  11. Bake at a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.
  12. While waiting for them to cook, start poaching the eggs. 
  13. After baking the galette cups, put one poached egg on each, sprinkle with smoked paprika and fresh thyme.