Basically made from 3 ingredients (chickpea flour, olive oil and water), la farinata, or socca (as it is called in Nice), is a kind of chickpea focaccia, which doesn’t contain gluten and is dairy free. It is quite easy to prepare and it’s perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets, because it is a good source of proteins.
Before getting the method and recipe right it might take a few tries, especially when it comes to finding the right balance between the ingredients. It might requires a lot of olive oil in order to become crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, as it should be.
The farinata is traditionally only a few millimetres thin (see the pictures).
A few tips.
The ideal cooking method would also require a high temperature oven, like a wood stove, however, a good oven will do. Remember to use non-stick baking trays or baking paper.
The farinata has to be served quite hot, freshly made, otherwise it will become elastic and not very nice to eat. If you have leftovers, you can reheat the farinata in the oven the day after.
The farinata can also be enriched adding different ingredients; amongst the local most popular variations, you’ll find the onion and the artichoke farinata, also quite easy to make.
Farinata could be a delicious starter or aperitif, but it is also a wonderful meal when served with a nice big salad on the side.
La farinata di ceci (Genoese socca)
for 3 rounded backing trays (28 cm in diameter)
1,5 litre of water
500 g chickpea flour
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk 1,5 litre of water with 500 g. of chickpea flour, 100 ml olive oil and some salt. Once all the ingredients are mixed well, let sit for at least 5 hours (but 10 hours would be better, so the flour can absorb the water well).
2. After the resting time, remove the froth formed on the surface of the mixture with a spoon.
3. Pour some extra virgin oil on a non-stick baking tray, then with a ladle add 1/3 of the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
4. Bake the farinata at 220°C / 428°F (or higher) until golden, then turn on the grill and cook for a little longer, in order to get a nice crispy crust on top. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Also see Chickpea flour bread recipe
La farinata di ceci.
Per 3 teglie rotonde di 28 cm di diametro
1,5 l d’ acqua
500 g di farina di ceci
sale e pepe q.b.
200 ml di olio extra vergine d’oliva
1. In una ciotola grande, mescolate energicamente con una frusta 1, 5 l di acqua, 500 g. di farina di ceci, 100 ml di olio e un po’ di sale. Una volta amalgamati bene gli ingredienti, lasciate riposare per almeno 5 ore (sarebbe meglio 10 ore, per far assorbire bene l’acqua).
2. Passato il tempo necessario, togliete con un cucchiaio la schiuma formata in superficie.
3. Versate un po’ d’olio su una teglia antiaderente, poi con un mestolo aggiungete il composto liquido (non troppo perché deve restare sottile) e condite con sale e pepe.
4. Infornate a 220° C per una decina di minuti, poi accendete il grill e lasciate che si formi una crosta croccante. Sfornate e servite!
Vedi anche la ricetta del Pane con farina di ceci e semi di zucca