When talking about Italian cuisine, the first thing coming to your mind is normally pizza or pasta, but keep calm, Italian culinary culture is way more various, even the so-called “cucina povera” (poor cuisine) has its fantastic surprises. Just like the farinata. This is a super cheap and super delicious street food, you can have a slice for 1 euro. It is ideal for quick lunchbreaks or during city tours.
Farinata is a product of the Ligurian gastronomy and its is a sort of pancake made of chickpea flour. It is very simple to prepare, let’s say that you need more soul than experience to make it. You just need to mix the chickpea flour with water, spices and olive oil and the base is ready. You will only need to pour it in a baking pan and it is ready in a couple of minutes in hot oven.
Farinata was actually born during the times of the Roman Empire and soldiers used to have it cooked on their shields. According to Genovese tradition, farinata should be prepared in a pan of copper in a wood-fired oven, just like in the most famous farinata place in genova, the Sa Pesta.
Farinata, despite being very simple, is extremely nutricious and full of vegetable proteins, calcium, iron and phosphor, but it also contains citamin C and B. The best is that it is also gluten-free, so you can have it without limitations also if you are on a special diet. You can also order a farinata and have it garnished with whatever you would put in a pizza. Yummy.
If you feel like makig it at home , this is what you will need:
- 30 gramms of chickpea flour
- 1 liter of water
- 1 glass of olive oil
Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until you get a well blended consistency and set it aside for 4-5 hours at least (the longer, the better). In the end discard the foam created on the surface. Pour the mass in a pan, where you have previously put a reasonable amount of olive oil. The farinata should be about 5 mm thin. Put it in preheated oven (200-220 ° C) for about 15 minutes and serve it hot, preferebly sprinkled with pepper.
There are numerous variations of farinata in Liguria, you can mix the base with pesto, mushrooms, onions, whatsoever.