This Italian Frittata (or Farinata) is a tradition in the Ligurian region of Italy. People line up in the streets in front of the bake shops and pizzerias in anticipation of eating them fresh from the oven. It’s also know by the name Cinque e Cinque, which is a name given to the dish by sailors in the early 1900‘s. It refers to the the price - five cents for the patty and five cents for the bread.
I’d never heard of a chickpea frittata before I received a sample of a mix from Lucini. It’s requires no eggs, contains no gluten and is high in fiber and protein. I had to give it a try. I’m always looking inexpensive, high protein dinner ideas.
Basically, it’s just chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour mixed with some dried rosemary. The directions tell you to mix the flour with some water, olive oil and salt. You pour this mixture into a cast iron frying pan that has been heated to 500°. Then, you put it back in the 500° oven and cook it for 14 minutes. The final step is open your oven door, slightly, to vent the humidity and cook for another 10 minutes. I don’t know how oven doors work in Italy, but the only way I could think to do this was to put the tip of my oven mitt in there to keep it from closing all the way. When it was done it looked like an egg frittata. It had the consistency of polenta.
While it cooled, I sauteed one sliced onion and a can of quartered artichoke hearts in a little olive oil. When the onions were browned, I mixed in some diced tomato and pine nuts. I used this to top the frittata.
You could leave out the rosemary or replace it with basil or chili pepper flakes. I think, next time, I’ll mix the vegetables into the frittata batter before I cook it. You could even add some whole chickpeas.
You don’t need to buy the mix, you can just buy some chickpea flour. If you can’t find this where you live, you can get it online from Bob’s Red Mill.
Makes 6 servings- Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
3 cups cold water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
(extra oil for seasoning the pan)
Preheat your oven to 500°
Lightly oil a 9” cast iron frying pan.
Put the frying pan in the oven for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, oil and salt until there are no lumps.
(if you want to add vegetables to the batter do it now)
Remove the frying pan from the oven carefully (it will be very hot!)
Pour the chickpea mixture into the hot pan and put it back in the oven.
Bake for 14 minutes.
Open the oven door a little and insert the tip of your oven mitt to keep the door open slightly.
(this allows the steam to vent)
Bake for another 10 minutes or until the frittata is golden brown.
Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Top with your favorite sauteed vegetables.