Cacio e Pepe Farinata

updated Jun 21, 2021
Cacio e Pepe Farinata

Whether you call it socca or farinata, this gluten-free chickpea flour flatbread is the perfect appetizer or snack, especially when showered with Pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook6 minutes to 10 minutes

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Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

If you travel to Italy’s northwestern region of Liguria, you’ll find just about every street vendor, bakery, and pizzeria selling farinata. Travel a bit farther west along the coast into France, and in the region of Provence they’ll be selling it, too, but calling it socca. No matter what it’s called, it’s the same delicious thing: a rustic chickpea pancake that’s sliced into wedges or squares and eaten as a snack.

The batter is a simple mix of chickpea flour, water, and olive oil that’s baked until it blisters, then served warm. Here, it’s decidedly not traditional as it takes inspiration from the classic Roman pasta, cacio e pepe, and is showered with Pecorino cheese and black pepper when it’s pulled from the oven. Serve it paired with a crisp white or rosé wine, and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Riviera via Rome.

Cacio e Pepe Farinata

Whether you call it socca or farinata, this gluten-free chickpea flour flatbread is the perfect appetizer or snack, especially when showered with Pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    chickpea flour

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 3 tablespoons

    extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Fresh finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt together until smooth. Cover and let the mixture rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, to give the flour time to absorb the water. (The batter can also be refrigerated for up to 12 hours. Transfer it to the counter to take the chill off before baking, while the oven preheats.)

  2. When ready to bake, place a rack in the top third of the oven (6 to 8 inches from the broiling element) and preheat the oven to 450°F. You want the entire oven to get nice and hot before broiling the farinata so it bakes evenly.

  3. To cook, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and turn on the broiler. Let it sit under the broiler for 5 minutes. Do your best to skim off and discard most of the foam that has formed on the surface of the chickpea flour batter.

  4. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and carefully swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the skillet and return it to the oven. Broil until the edges of the flatbread are set, the center is firm, and the top is lightly browned in spots, 6 to 10 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven. Immediately, generously shower the farinata with Pecorino, then top with several generous grinds of black pepper. Let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully slide a flat spatula under the farinata and transfer it to a cutting board. Slice into wedges and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Mediterranean Every Day © 2020 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2020 Sheela Prakash Photography: Kristin Teig Photography. First Published in 2020 by The Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group