Pesto Farinata (Torta Di Ceci)

Pesto farinata

Introduction
Whilst it might look more like a pizza, a farinata is essentially an Italian style of pancake. Unlike its American cousin, it doesn't feature baking soda and is therefore unleavened and offers a completely different eating experience as a result. If you've never cooked with chickpea flour before, this recipe could be a game changer.

We're probably not going to win any Italian friends by incorporating so many toppings. It's most often served without anything more than a bit of pepper but where's the fun in that?

There are so many variations of farinata that it's hard to say with confidence which is the original one. Most people now agree that the most common style hails from Genoa in north Italy, the same city where the official pesto recipe was perfected.

Quite why topping a farinata with pesto has never become a common thing we'll never know, but here we're finally putting that right.

Recommended equipment
Cast iron skillet

Pro tip
Our go-to toppings for a pesto farinata are caramelised onions, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes and herbs, but think of it as a blank canvas and freestyle with whatever you've got in the fridge.

Ingredients for two pesto farinatas

Tepid water 650g
Chickpea flour 200g
Pesto 100g
Salt 5g
Olive oil as needed
Toppings you choose

Method
Whisk the flour, salt and tepid water, cover with cling film and leave overnight to ferment.

When you're ready to make your first farinata of two, scoop off any scuzz that has risen to the surface of the batter. Give it a good stir and pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

Add a generous glug of olive oil to your skillet, heat until it starts to shimmer then add a half of the batter to the pan. Tilt the pan to swirl the batter until you've got a nice, even thickness.

Cook on high heat for 60 secs before transferring the skillet to the oven. Bake until the top is golden brown, around 15-minutes.

Remove from the oven and slide the farinata onto a chopping board. Spread over the pesto and top with your favourite ingredients. Cut into triangles and savour what we think is one of the greatest comfort foods of all time.