Ricipes of the tradition: Cecìna, a Tuscan or Genoese recipe?

Cecìna, or also chickpea farinata, is a delicious chickpea flour pancake, a dish suitable for all seasons that goes well with many foods. It can be found throughout Tuscany and Liguria. In fact, there is a dispute about the origin of this recipe between the two regions that has been going on for centuries.

In 1284, during the Battle of Meloria, from the clash between the two powerful maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa the Genoese emerged victorious.
It is said that while they were returning home on galleys loaded with Pisan prisoners employed as rowers, they were surprised by a storm which flooded the holds containing bags of chickpea flour and barrels of oil, which overturned and mixed with the salt water.
Given the shortage of supplies, the prisoners were given that chickpea flour mush, which many refused, leaving their bowls aside. The following day, however, the pangs of hunger eventually pushed those sailors to go and retrieve their bowls. It was then that they discovered with joy that the sun-dried mixture had become a delicious sort of pancake!

Once on land, the Genoese decided to perfect that recipe discovered by chance, thanks to the Pisan prisoners, adding the right amount of salt, pepper, and cooking it in the oven to make a low and firm chickpea cake.
In jest, the Genoese called it "the gold of Pisa".
Maybe we should end this dispute about the cecìna recipe once and for all and call it a recipe born from the collaboration of the Pisans and the Genoese. After all, it is not really important to know who invented the recipe, but that it has reached the present day and allows us to create a delicious dish!
Here is the recipe to try making it at home.

Cecìna recipe

(for about 6 people)


- 300 g of chickpea flour
- 1 liter of cold water
- ½ glass of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper as needed

Dissolve the chickpea flour in cold water and mix well so that no lumps remain.
Add the oil and salt, mix well and leave to rest for about an hour. You can also mix the ingredients with an immersion blender.
Once the mixture has set, remove the foam that formed on the surface with a spoon and pour into a large, low baking tray, such as the one for used pizza and focaccia, which must be greased with oil.
Pour a drizzle of oil over the farinata and cook in a very hot oven (around 200-250°C) until it has taken on a golden color on the surface. Sprinkle with pepper to taste and enjoy hot or cold. It goes particularly well with cured meats, tomatoes, salads and cheeses, but it is also delicious eaten alone!
Enjoy your meal!

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