I’ll be honest and say that the yummy Italian dish cecina isn’t particularly visually arresting. In fact it looks quite boring. However, the taste is phenomenal. It’s amazing that such a simple, ordinary-looking dish with so few ingredients can be so wonderfully tasty.
It is normally served as a starter or side dish in Tuscany, but the quantities I’ve given provide two people with a hearty meal by itself. Obviously, feel free to cut the recipe in half or even into quarters to suit whatever portion size you’d like.
280g chickpea (gram) flour
1 litre water
60 ml olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Here’s how I do it:
Firstly, sieve the flour into a large bowl. Gradually stir in the water, making it into a paste then a thinner batter. This way you can keep it relatively lump-free as opposed to adding the water all at once.
Once all the water is incorporated stir in the olive oil.
Finally, stir in the salt. Rest the batter for about thirty minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375/190 degrees/gas mark 5. Prepare two medium or three smaller baking trays by spraying them with a little oil. (I use one tray 40cm X 25cm and two trays 20cm X 30cm.) Pour in the batter so that it covers the bottom of the trays, but not so full that it’ll spill when you carry them over to the oven!
Pop them in the oven and bake until golden brown, which is usually about 20-25 minutes.
Take the trays out and leave them to cool for a couple of minutes so the cecina can come away from the sides a bit.
Ease the cecina out with a spatula onto a plate and grind some pepper over it to taste.
As I said before, normally it looks pretty boring, but I don’t mind as the taste is so good. However, if you’d like to pretty it up a bit, cut it into shapes with your most attractive cookie cutters – great for a dinner party.