Chickpea farinata is a type of thin, unleavened bread. I love everything about this vegetarian and gluten-free recipe: the simplicity of preparation, the smell, the taste.
This is a traditional peasant recipe, based on water and flour, and typical of areas where chickpeas are grown. Chickpeas are used to make yellow flour with a slightly nutty flavor, perfect for both savory and sweet recipes.
I still remember going with my grandmother to the countryside to visit her family. We never go back empty-handed. And it is impossible to forget the cloth bag and the clatter of dry chickpeas as grandma filled it. When I still see a field planted with chickpeas today, that memory immediately comes to mind.
After harvesting, a portion was kept for the family, and once they had dried, they were ready to be shared among family members and neighbors following old bartering customs.
Once home, with the dried chickpeas grandma would also make chickpea flour to make farinata (but I remember that, even then, in the countryside it was used to make piadina romagnola).
A simple savor that you can combine with many other flavors.
She added many flavors to the farinata: herbs, pepper and who knows. Nonna cooked according to the inspiration of the moment. I added some tomato paste to add color and lots of fresh basil to add freshness to the earthy flavor of the chickpea flour.
Farinata is nothing more than a simple chickpea flour batter which is spiked with olive oil and salt and baked in a very hot oven. The surface gets crusty, and yet the inside stays moist. The texture is easy to explain, but the taste, is particular because of the almost nutty and taste of the chickpea flour. Very earthy, comforting, and satisfying.
I’ll leave you with the recipe now. No special precautions are necessary, but respect the resting time of the batter.
Serve the farinata as an appetizer or aperitif. After all, it’s like a savory pie.
Or bring it to the table with one or more sides as a main or one course.
Buona cucina, Monica
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When you see the batter completely liquid you will be tempted to think that the recipe is wrong. But trust the recipe and, I hope, me too. The magic happens in the oven. It goes in completely watery and comes out solid.
If you like, add smoked paprika which, for me, works well with the slightly sweet taste of the chickpea flour.
The resting time of the batter is also essential to dissolve any lumps of flour that remain in the water or are easily removed by stirring.
Chickpea farinata with basil recipe
chickpea flour, 250g
¾ liter of cold water
15 basil leaves
1 small spoon of tomato paste
4 g salt
olive oil to taste
Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
Add the tomato paste and pour in the water a little at a time, stirring with a spoon to have a batter that will be very liquid (and I mean liquid, the magic will happen in the oven).
Let it rest for an hour, stirring 3-4 times to dissolve any lumps (I always get them), then add the basil leaves cut into small pieces, or chopped with a knife if you are a refined person, and stir into the batter.
Generously grease a baking tray (30 cm diameter) with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven, static function, at 190 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.
Serve the chickpea farinata warm or at room temperature.
If you like, after cooking the farinata and before serving, sprinkle the surface with freshly ground black pepper.