- Gluten Free
- Lactose Free
- Energy Kcal 187
- Carbohydrates g 20.4
- of which sugars g 1.4
- Protein g 8.2
- Fats g 8.1
- of which saturated fat g 1.14
- Fiber g 5.2
- Sodium mg 494
- Difficulty: Average
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Serving: 8 people
- Cost: Very low
- Note + 4-5 hours of resting
Chickpea farinata is a very shallow savory pie made out of water and chickpea flour, baked in a wood-fired oven to form a delicious golden crust. And today’s recipe gives you the chance to make it in your own oven at home! Chickpea farinata is a Ligurian specialty. It is especially typical of the city of Genoa but its origins stretch far back in time to Greek and Latin antiquity. However, legend has it that the dish dates back to the period of the Maritime Republics: it is said that farinata as we know it today was first created in 1284, when Genoa defeated Pisa at the Battle of Meloria. As they were sailing back from battle, the Genoese ships were caught in a storm and some barrels of oil and chickpea flour split open, their contents becoming soaked in salt water. Because provisions were so scarce, everything possible was salvaged and the sailors were served the mixture of chickpeas and oil, which was dried in the sun to create a kind of pancake in an attempt to make it more palatable. Back on terra firma, the Genoese perfected this makeshift recipe to create the specialty we enjoy today, known as “Pisan gold” as a reference to Pisa’s defeat. Chickpea farinata is a typical “cucina povera” recipe made with humble ingredients and is very common throughout Italy. It occurs in numerous versions beyond Liguria, the name varying from place to place. Famous examples include cecina from Pisa, 5&5 panini from Livorno, socca piemontese and fainè sassarese. Its name may change from place to place, but this quintessential Italian street food is reliably delicious: You simply must try it!
- Ingredients for three 8-inch (32-cm) diameter baking pans
- Water 4 cups (900 ml)
- Chickpea flour 3 ½ cups (300 g)
- Extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup (50 g)
- Fine salt ½ tbsp (10 g)
- To oil the baking pans
- Extra virgin olive oil ⅓ cup (70 g)
How to prepare Chickpea farinata
To prepare the farinata, put the chickpea flour 1 in a bowl and form a mound with a well in the middle. Pour water at room temperature 2 into the well a little at a time. Mix everything thoroughly, taking care not to form lumps, until the mixture is liquid and uniform 3.
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap 4 and leave to rest outside the fridge from 4/5 to 10 hours, stirring occasionally. After this time, you will notice some foam on the surface; remove this with a skimmer 5 and stir 6.
Add ¼ cup (50 g) of oil 7 and salt 8 to the mixture and stir again 9.
Oil three 8-inch (32-cm) baking pans with the remaining oil (the pans used are traditionally copper or aluminum, but you can also use an ordinary nonstick pan). Use a ladle to spread the chickpea mixture over the pans 10. Smooth to an even thickness with the aid of a fork 11 to ensure uniform cooking, then bake in a conventional oven preheated to 480°F (250°C) Bake in the lower part of the oven, in contact with the bottom, for the first 10 minutes. If using a convection oven, bake for just 7-8 minutes at 430°F (220°C) and then follow the rest of the steps indicated. After this time, move the pan to the top part of the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven, until the farinata 12 is a nice golden-brown color. Take the farinata out of the oven and enjoy it piping hot, sprinkling it with black pepper to taste.
Chickpea farinata should preferably be eaten fresh out of the oven, but you can cover it and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. We recommend warming it before serving.
The mixture can be prepared in advance and stored for up to 24 hours.
Farinata is really good on its own, but it’s even more irresistible eaten in fragrant, freshly baked focaccia: Try it… and tell us what you think!
As you travel around the towns of Liguria, you’re very likely to find modified versions of the original farinata containing new ingredients: In the west of the region, you can find farinata flavored with borage, rosemary, or oregano. Farinata with gianchetti, or whitebait, is typical of Voltri, while natives of Albissola serve farinata with artichokes, sausage, or stracchino cheese. If you’d like to try farinata with pumpkin, go to Sestri Pontente. In Albenga, on the other hand, it’s eaten with chopped parsley, while in Imperia it’s eaten with fresh onions.