There’s no word to translate farinata in english. I’ll call it chickpeas salty cake.
It’s an ancient gluttonous sin. Lost in time and space. But still… it would probably be at God’s dinner table. Because it’s simple, and easy. And perfect. It doesn’t really need anything else but what’s inside to make it a wonderful ‘salty cake’. Just chickpeas, water and salt. And olive oil. Everything else is to satify the gluttonous.
The recipe is simple but requires time, because you have to let the chickpeas flour to stay in water all night. The more the better, but a whole night is more than enough to me. (and no, you can’t freeze it after, c’mon!!)
Cost in italy: around $1.5 for 2 persons, for the base.
Ingredients (or proportions):
- 200gr (7 oz) of flour.
- 600ml (2.5 cups) of water. In milliliters and grams would be 3 parts of water for every part of chickpeas flour. (200 gr of flour, 600 ml of water and so on)
- 20ml (4 teaspoons?) of Extravirgin olive oil for each 300 ml of water.
- 6gr (0.2 oz) salt. Taste and adjust accordingly.
- Rosemary (fresh is better)
If you can use milliliters and grams, it’s better. I converted all the doses but.. better safe than sorry.
Sift the flour to remove any clumps in a bowl (1), then mix the chickpeas flour with a little of water at a time starting from the center, until you pour all the water (2). Add the rosemary branch (3), then cover the bowl and leave it for at least 4 hours, mixing from time to time. I use to leave it all night, and start mixing it again in the morning.
It might form a foam on the top. Some prefers to remove it, i really see no point of doing that, but it’s up to you. Try with or without it, and lemme know if you find any difference. I don’t and it feels the same, but i might be wrong.
After the resting time, remove the rosemary branches, keep the needles and cut half of them finely with a knife (4). Put the finely sliced needles in the bowl (5). We’ll save the rest for the topping.
Add the oil and the salt, then mix everything together and leave them for 10 minutes to allow salt to dissolve(6). Put olive oil on a baking tray (7), spread it all over, stir and pour the liquid onto it with a ladle (8), until its around 1cm (0.4 inches) thick in the whole tray.
Remember the thicker, the longer to cook, but the more creamy inside. I wouldn’t go over 0.4 inches to cook it faster, but remember not to make it too thin, or it will break, burn and ruin the result. For me 600ml is enough for a single tray, but everything depends from the tray itself so, you’ll have to experiment a little the right dose (or the right tray!).
Word of warning: I used the doses of this recipe to make two trays of farinata instead of the normal one, to show different composition of the dish, but this forced me to have a 0.3cm (0.12 inch) thickness. You’ll see what happened after half of cook, and after the end of cooking. If you want your recipe to work, keep the thickness to 0.4 inches.
Preheat the oven at 220°C ventilated (248F) and cook for 10 minutes depending from the oven. I always have to adjust the timings when i change oven, and i think you’ll probably have to adjust them accodingly to your oven too. After around 10 minutes it should be a little brown (9), and that’s when you’ll add the rest of the rosemary or other topping.
I usually put canned olive oil tuna with or without chopped olives, or red peppers, or purple onion. I suggest you to make a plain one at first, try it, and decide what to put on top the next time. Remember after you put your ingredients, you’ll have another 10 minutes or so to cook it so you might need to pre-cook the topping accordingly. I suggest you to stay simple with the ingredients, to fully taste the chickpeas.
Leave it coking for another 10-15 minutes until it gets brown, but not burned.
Slice it or don’t, but serve it fast, hot. I usually use hot dishes by preheating them 5 minutes in the oven first.
Once your glutton meter goes back to normal, write me back if you liked it. But wait! Scroll down it’s not over!
Here’s what happens if farinata is too thin!
Remember i told you i used the quantity for a single tray to make two of them? That resulted in a 0.12 thick farinata, which is not ideal. It’s probably clear from the pictures above (at least from the sides), but i magnified what happened. As you can see, where the top broke you can almost see the black of the tray. This usually results in a bad, burned bottom farinata, obviously not as good as the original one. So, pay attention to thickness!!
I’ll add more pictures soon using a single tray.