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Giuseppe’s traditional Italian farinata

Farinata is a centuries old delicacy that dominates the Ligurian street food scene, although it can be found, with different names, all over the country, from Pisa (cecìna) and Livorno (torta di ceci) to Piedmont (bella calda) and Sardinia (fainè).

Recipe by Giuseppe Dell’Anno

Farinata is a true Italian delicacy. It’s unbeatable combination of simplicity and flavour make it one of the most addictive street food I have ever come across. Thankfully, it is incredibly easy to bake at home, even without the wood-burning ovens traditionally used by professionals.

This recipe is for the basic black pepper farinata, but you can spice up yours by adding thinly sliced onions or artichoke, or just a sprinkle of fresh rosemary just before baking. The resulting pancake must be no more than 5mm thick, it should retain a soft core in a crispy skin. Although farinata can be stored for up to 3-4 days, it is at its best just baked and still warm. The amount makes six servings, but I unashamedly roll the whole thing up in grease proof paper and happily eat the lot! 


Makes 6 servings in a 27cm tart tin

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  • 100g chickpea (gram) flour 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 300g lukewarm water 
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground



Step 1

Add the flour and salt to a spouted jug large enough to accommodate all ingredients. Slowly trickle in the water while mixing with a fork or, better, with a small whisk. Once all the water is added, keep mixing until the runny batter looks smooth and homogenous. Cover the jug with a plate or clingfilm and leave it to rest at room temperature for at least 3 hours

Step 2

When ready to bake, set the shelf in the lowest position in the oven and preheat it to 220°C fan. Cut a sheet of baking paper slightly larger than the tin, scrunch it up, then unfold it and line the tin with it. Pour the oil in the lined tin and swirl it around so the bottom and the sides are well coated. 

Step 3

The batter will have separated upon resting: the solids will have sunk at the bottom and a layer of liquid will have formed at the top: give it a good stir to mix things up again then gently pour it into the tin. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the top has a golden brown colour and it looks crispy and crunchy. 

Step 4

Take the farinata out of the oven, sprinkle the pepper over the top, and let it cool for 5 minutes before sliding it onto a serving plate. Use a pizza cutter to slice it and serve it hot, either on its own or in a warm focaccina. Farinata can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days as long as it is either well wrapped in clingfilm or in an airtight container.