Antipasti and Light Bites

Italian Farinata Chickpea Flatbread (La Cecina Toscana)

August 12, 2020 (Last Updated: August 13, 2020) by Emily

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Italian Farinata Flatbread aka La Cecina Toscana is the most incredible chickpea flatbread made with just 3 basic ingredients. It’s crispy and delicious on the outside with the most delicious creamy middle.

An overhead shot of a Tuscan chickpea flatbread on a stone worktop

La Farinata also known as La Cecina or Torta di Ceci in Tuscany is an Italian snack that’s super nostalgic to me.

When we first moved to Italy we kept seeing signs in bakery windows for La Cecina Toscana and to be honest it didn’t look like much, a thin golden yellow flatbread sold by the slice or inside a focaccia sandwich.

Once we tried it, however, it instantly became our favourite snack, crispy on top, sprinkled with salt and sometimes rosemary with a slightly creamy middle.

Omg, it’s so good and making it at home is super easy you just need to follow a few simple tips to get it perfect!

Ingredients – what you need

All you need to make La Farinata is; chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt! It may seem too simple to be anything special but trust me it truly is. See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

An overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make La Farinata or Cecina

How to make this recipe – step by step

Sift the flour into a bowl, chickpea flour has a very chalky texture so this helps remove lumps (photo 1).

Whisk together the chickpea flour, salt and water (add the water gradually to avoid any lumps) when the batter is nice and smooth add the olive oil and stir together (photos 2-4).

Leave the batter to rest for 2 hours.

Step by step photos showing how to make La Farinata

Pour the flatbread batter into a well oiled, thin pizza tray or baking tray no more than 0.5mm thick (photos 5 & 6).

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until it’s nice and golden on top.

Two photos showing how to pour the farinata batter into a skillet

Sprinkle over some coarse salt and some rosemary sprigs (optional) followed by a drizzle of olive oil. Cut into slices and serve hot.

A close up of two slices of Italian farinata flatbread

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Grease the pan – Make sure your tray or skillet (even if it’s non-stick) is well oiled. I use around 1 tbsp of olive oil, that way it doesn’t stick to the tray and it can be removed easily.
  • baking the flatbread – You can use any shape pan or baking tray you just need to make sure that the batter is 5mm 1/4 inch thick. If using a baking tray make sure that it isn’t too thin or has any ridges. Thin baking trays buckle with the heat of the oven and ridges will give an uneven flatbread.
  • Variations – you can add herbs such as rosemary to the batter to infuse or even add in veggies that need using up.
  • Serving – La Farinata is always best served hot straight from the oven. You can simply eat it by the slice or serve it inside a roll or focaccia.
  • Batter – The batter is very liquidy it shouldn’t be thick at all.
Do I need to remove the foam?

It’s likely that foam will form on top of the batter as you whisk in the water, if you prefer you can skim it off with a spoon but it’s not essential and doesn’t effect the flavour.

How do I know it’s cooked?

A good sign that it’s ready is when the flatbread comes away from the edge or the skillet or baking tray. It should be golden brown on top.

Is it a flatbread or pancake?

la farinata is a cross between the two it’s crispy but creamy in the middle. You can eat it like a slice of pizza or stuff it inside a sandwich.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in a sealed air-tight container for 2-3 days.

More tasty Italian snacks you might like

If you’ve tried La Farinata (Cecina) Flatbread or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

This post was first published on August 3rd 2017 but has since been updated.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!

Italian Farinata Chickpea Flatbread (La Cecina Toscana)

Italian Farinata Flatbread aka La Cecina Toscana is the most incredible chickpea flatbread made with just 3 basic ingredients. It's crispy and delicious on the outside with the most delicious creamy middle.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings (2 flatbreads)
Calories 193kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpea flour (besan or gram flour) (250g)
  • 3 cups water (665ml)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes or kosher salt

For topping

Instructions

  • Sift the chickpea flour into a large bowl then add a pinch of salt (about 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes).
  • Gradually add in the water whislt whisking to avoid any lumps (there may be an odd few). Add olive oil and stir.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours (no need to refridgerate.)
  • Once rested pre-heat the oven to 450F/230C.
  • Oil an oven safe skillet, pizza pan or baking tray with olive oil (about 1 tbsp should be enough). I used a 10 inch round pan (there's enough batter to make two this size).
  • Pour the batter into the skillet until 5mm or 1/4 inch thick (it shouldn't be any higher) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top and crispy around the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing to a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little pinch of sea salt flakes and cut into slices. Eat while hot!

Notes

  • Grease the pan – Make sure your tray or skillet (even if it’s non-stick) is well oiled. I use around 1 tbsp of olive oil, that way it doesn’t stick to the tray and it can be removed easily.
  • baking the flatbread – You can use any shape pan or baking tray you just need to make sure that the batter is 5mm 1/4 inch thick. If using a baking tray make sure that it isn’t too thin or has any ridges. Thin baking trays buckle with the heat of the oven and ridges will give an uneven flatbread.
  • Variations – you can add herbs such as rosemary to the batter to infuse or even add in veggies that need using up.
  • Serving – La Farinata is always best served hot straight from the oven. You can simply eat it by the slice or serve it inside a roll or focaccia.
  • Batter – The batter is very liquidy it shouldn’t be thick at all.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Joanna
    November 23, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Hi, do you stir again before putting in the pan? The oil is still on top,
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      November 23, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Joanna, yes give it a stir before adding to the pan it’ll help any flour that has settled at the bottom of the bowl too!

  • Reply
    Bernice
    April 26, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    It’s in the over now and smells amazing!! I tried it for the first time in a Lucca last year. I have been going to Italy for well over 10 years and I can’t believe that was the first time seeing it. Can’t wait to try my own!! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll let you know after the taste test!

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      April 27, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Bernice, hope you enjoyed the recipe I made it yesterday too! Lucca is such a beautiful place I’ve been there so many times, Nathan’s family stay there every summer!

      • Reply
        Bernice
        May 17, 2020 at 5:37 pm

        Love it!! Making it again tonight! Yummy xxx

        • Reply
          Inside the rustic kitchen
          May 17, 2020 at 10:10 pm

          So happy you love it! You wouldn’t believe you could make something so delicious with such simple ingredients!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    April 3, 2020 at 4:31 am

    Hi, I’m excited to try this recipe, I have a round pizza pan but it has holes in it, can i put parchment paper over top? Will it cook the same?

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      April 3, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Melissa, the batter is quite watery so I’d maybe try aluminum foil all over to secure it first then parchment paper.

  • Reply
    Linda
    March 25, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Good morning. A Pizza tray is one piece of kitchen equipment I do not have. What would you suggest I use instead? Any feedback would be sincerely appreciated. thank you.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      March 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Linda, any flat baking sheet is fine as long as the batter is around 3mm or 1/8inch deep.

  • Reply
    Tania
    March 24, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    How liquidy??? Like a cream soup? Putting in fridge now.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      March 24, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Tania, yes the batter is very liquidy much like soup.

    • Reply
      Linda
      March 26, 2020 at 1:07 am

      Thank you for your speedy reply. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Reply
      Linda
      March 28, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      What size pizza pan did you use? They come in 14, 12, 8 inch pans. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Sara
    February 9, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    The Farinata di Ceci is an amazing snack, especially when it’s inside a focaccia. I’m from Tuscany and I really appreciate you sharing the recipe on your website. Just two things: it’s better to use 1 part chickpeas flour and 3 parts of water and a tiny bit more oil (3/3,5 tbsp) and to be fair it’s better for it to be Extravirgin Olive oil since it’s tastier.
    The second thing it’s the resting time should be from 3 to 6 hours (room temperature), but could be up to 10 (in the fridge), but again it’s because it makes it tastier!
    By the way thank you for sharing and I wish you the best!5 stars

  • Reply
    Anya Leigh
    June 3, 2018 at 3:05 am

    I recently ate these delicious breads whilst in Lucca. I have to replicate them. Something that will live with forever, maybe because I was in Tuscany sitting in a little back street, eating the cecina off a paper plate straight from the wood fired oven. But I have never eaten something so memorable and vegan (thank goodness).

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      June 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Hi Anya, Lucca is one of my favourite places in Tuscany, our family stay there every summer. It’s so beautiful, cycling around the walls is one of my favourite things to do. You should definitely try this recipe, the most important things are to let the batter rest for at least 2 hours and make sure you use a large enough tray so it’s very thin (no more than 5mm). Have your oven up to the highest temp and eat it straight away while still hot but not too hot ha! Hope you get to go back soon!

  • Reply
    Sues
    August 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve never actually heard of chickpea flatbread, but it sounds like something I’d go totally crazy for!

  • Reply
    jacquee | i sugar coat it!
    August 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    These look irresistible!! I have everything on hand and will be making them this weekend!!5 stars

  • Reply
    Marjory @ Dinner-Mom
    August 4, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    This is awesome! My daughter is a huge chick pea fan and would love this. I need to go look for some chick pea flour.5 stars

  • Reply
    Jagruti
    August 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    These look so tasty and with such few ingredients! I’d love to try them out for lunch!

  • Reply
    Silvia
    August 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I love this recipe, I really have to make it. I pinned it for later and I sent it as well to my brother in law because I’m sure he wants to make it too. Thank you for sharing it. I’m sure it tastes heavenly.5 stars

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