A Nutty Delight: How to Make Chickpea Farinata at Home
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Farinata di ceci, also known as fainè, fainà, cecìna, or torta di ceci, is a thin, savory flatbread made from chickpea flour, water, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil. This Italian dish originates from Liguria and Tuscany, where it was introduced in the Middle Ages by the Maritime Republics of Genoa and Pisa due to their trade connections with the Arab world. Farinata is baked in a wood-fired oven at 300°C (572°F) for 10 minutes, resulting in a crispy, golden crust with a smooth, crustless underside.
Related articles: Italian flatbread, Italian Vegan Dishes
The dish has ancient roots, with Latin and Greek recipes featuring baked legume purées. Chickpeas were well-known in the Arab world, and it’s believed that the trade connections of the Maritime Republics of Pisa and Genoa introduced chickpeas to Italy’s culinary tradition, eventually evolving into today’s farinata.
Nowadays, farinata is prepared in dedicated street food shops called sciamadda in Liguria, and in take-away pizzerias or dedicated establishments in Sassarese.
To prepare farinata, sift chickpea flour to remove any impurities. Gradually mix the flour with three to four parts water in a bowl, adding a little salt and stirring vigorously with a whisk or fork to dissolve any lumps. Allow the mixture to rest for a few hours (up to 10 hours or more, if refrigerated) to avoid flour sedimentation, stirring occasionally to dissolve any remaining lumps. Skim off any foam that forms.
Grease a tin-plated copper pan with a thin layer of olive oil, heat the oil in the oven for about a minute, then remove and pour the mixture into the pan, maintaining a thickness between 5 mm and 1 cm. Bake in a preheated wood-fired oven, rotating the pan to ensure even cooking. Farinata can be enriched with various ingredients such as rosemary, onion, artichokes, and cipollotti. Numerous variations of farinata exist, including farinata with cipollotti, farinata bianca, cecina, and torta di ceci.
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Quantity for a 28 cm (11-inch) shallow, lightweight aluminum baking pan
150 g chickpea flour 400 ml water 40 ml extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Rosemary (optional)
How to Make Chickpea Farinata
- First, mix the chickpea flour in a bowl using a hand whisk. Make a well in the center and gradually pour in the water while stirring. Pour in all the water using this method. Stir and remove any foam from the surface using a skimmer; this will prevent it from darkening during cooking!
- Next, let the mixture rest, covered with a lid, for at least 3 hours. Stir occasionally using the hand whisk and remove any foam. This step is crucial for dissolving the chickpea flour and creating a smooth, lump-free batter!
- After the resting time has elapsed, add the olive oil and salt.
- Stir well to combine the mixture. Pour it into a lightly greased, lightweight aluminum or copper baking pan. If desired, add the rosemary.
- Bake the farinata in a well-preheated oven at its maximum temperature of 250°C (482°F) on the bottom rack for 12 minutes.
- Then, move the pan to the middle-upper rack and continue baking at a reduced temperature of 200°C (392°F) until the surface turns golden brown, about 15 minutes.
And there you have it, your Chickpea Farinata is ready!
Topics: Ligurian chickpea farinata recipe, gluten-free Italian flatbread, crispy chickpea farinata, authentic farinata recipe, traditional Ligurian flatbread
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