Make This and Be Happy: Farinata

by Bianca Gignac

farinata italian, ligurian, flatbread

This is not the typical recipe you would find in an Italian cookbook. Too damn simple and good. Also very regional. It is something pulled out of wood fired ovens all over Liguria where it’s served take out style from massive circular pans and sold by weight. Farinata conforms to my theory that the best recipes never have more than four ingredients. Tops. What happened? Why is simple food so underrated? I hate that. But that’s why eating in Italy is such a unique experience for the North American palette accustomed to the ten ingredient mash up.

So let’s whip this beauty up. Preheat your oven to 450F/230C

You need this:

300g (2.75 cups) chickpea flour, 1 litre (4 cups) cold water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, rosemary (optional), olive oil for cookie sheet

Measure chickpea flour, add salt. Add water and mix with a whisk . Add oil. Cut up rosemary sprigs, no woody bits,  but the rosemary is optional (I never ate it like this in Liguria but it tastes beautiful). You can let the batter rest, some say overnight, but I never have. Cause girlfriend, life is unpredictable. Mix and cook immediately cause you may not be around tomorrow.

The magic trick is pre-heating the cookie sheet. Take a rectangular sheet (30 x 45 cm, 12″ x 18″) with sides and glug some olive oil in the bottom, it should cover the bottom in a generous sheen.  Stick your oiled sheet in the preheated oven for 2-3 minutes, watch closely at this point so you don’t start smoking the oil. Now stir your batter once more and with the pan left on the oven rack inside the oven, pour your batter so it crackles and sputters a little hot oil on your jeans. Grrr. Leave in the oven for about 15-20 mins., but this could vary depending on your oven. Use a pot holder to prop open the oven door an inch so steam can escape. You could also turn the broiler on for the last few minutes of cooking to goldenly beautify the top. But our Craigslist freebie oven isn’t graced with this high tech capability. But the photo below reveals goldeness graces the top of my farinata without the upper element used.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Miangiamo.

I loved that while I was snapping these shots my stack of farinata was diminishing in each photo. It was hard to snap one without Alessandro’s hand in the way or my daughters face in the frame.  We could eat this everyday.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


I remember the first batch of farinata I ate bought from some little spot down a back street in Venice I think…soooo good and soooo good with gogonzola!!!



Something about farinata in the the brown paper makes it taste extra good! Maybe it holds the dripping olive oil in a perfect state of heat. Love those memories too. Thanks for reminding me.


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