Chickpea flatbread – Farinata di Ceci

With the cost of living constantly increasing, it is most certainly a time for concern and meal planning where possible. Planning our snacks and meals may take a little time to do but in the long run you will have less waste, more time and in terms of your ingredients you will have more knowledge and control over what’s in your store, fridge, and freezer. Also, get the family involved in meal planning. No more buying from memory it’s time for lists and structure, especially if you have a family and multiple meals to be prepared. Now, it’s easy saying this I know as I only prepare one day ahead normally, but my awareness of NO WASTE is as the forefront of my mind.

I find cooking meals easier than preparing snacks. My children eat well, they have three meals a day but when then return home from school they are absolutely starving mum!! I must prepare a snack or smaller meal (for Santino who’s 16 and 6FT) for when he returns from school.  That could be a few slices or pizza, beans on toast, a tiny bowl of pesto pasta with peas or this chickpea farinata in a panino.

Farinata, socca, torta di ceci, panelle , Cecina. This chickpea pancake has many names and is well recognised not only in Italy however Liguria seems to have it firmly clasped within its chosen regional repertoire. Many names for very few low-cost ingredients. In Sicily panelle is served in a panino, as a snack, absolute heaven. I eat the farinata, as is when a mixed plate of antipasti, cut into cubes and dipped in pesto, toasted with cheese and in so many other wonderful ways.

The simplicity of this snack alone will ensure it becomes a firm family favourite at your kitchen table. I simply adore the taste of farinata as it has the texture of something a little more, almost eggy yet with a firm bite and equally delicious hot or cold. It is in essence an un-leavened pancake but made even better if that’s possible. A mix of chickpea flour, water, salt and oil has never tasted so good.

 

Serves: 4-6

Preparation: time: 5 minutes

Resting time: 2 – 4 hours

Cooking time: 24 minutes

 

Oven: 240C (fan) reducing to 220C (fan)

Foil tray lined with baking parchment:  8’x12’ approx.

900ml water

300g chickpea flour

10g salt

Pinch oregano or chilli (optional)

40ml extra virgin olive oil

 

  1. Pour the water into a large bowl.
  2. Slowly pour in the chickpea flour and whisk by hand to incorporate.
  3. Add the salt and stir.
  4. Cover the bowl and allow to rest for as long as possible. I would recommend a minimum of 2 hours chilling at least.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 240C. Clear the base of the oven as that’s where you’ll need to place your tray initially.
  6. Take the farinata mix out of the fridge. With a large spoon gently spoon out the (scuma) the foam and discard.
  7. Whisk again to awaken the mix and pour in the 40ml of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk to incorporate. Add the oregano or chilli (optional).
  8. Take your pre-lined tray and add in just short of 4 ladles, a thin layer.
  9. Bake in the base of your oven for 10 minutes at 240C (fan).
  10. After 10 minutes reduce the oven to 220C and place the tray in the middle of the oven for a further 14 minutes.
  11. Once ready remove from the oven, allow to cool a little. Remove the parchment, slice and enjoy. Repeat the process as this makes 2 trays worth.

Carmela’s tip: Add a sprinkle of fresh chili for a little heat. Serve hot or cold, as a snack, in a panino or as part of your antipasti feast.