Menu February 2021

Menu February 2021

Appetizer: Cecina o torta di ceci

(= Chickpea Flour Flatbread)

Recommended wine: Casa Conforto Bianco dei Colli dell’Etruria Centrale

Cecina o torta di ceci Ingredients for 5-6 people: 400 g chickpea flour 1.5 l water ½ glass + 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper

Gradually dissolve the chickpea flour in 1.5 litres of cold water, adding it a little at a time and stirring well and at length. The mixture should be fairly liquid and without any lumps. Add a pinch of salt and leave to rest for about an hour in a cool place.

After this time, use a slotted spoon to remove the froth that will have formed, and then stir half a glass of olive oil into the mixture. Grease the bottom of a fairly large baking tray (1) with the remaining oil and pour in the chickpea flour mixture (it should be spread evenly and thinly, not much more than half a centimetre thick). Bake it in a very hot oven until a golden crust forms on top.

Cecina is best eaten nice and hot, with a sprinkling of pepper.

It’s a tasty dish, which originated along the Ligurian coast and then moved down the Tuscan coastline as far as Viareggio, Pisa and Livorno. This recipe is the authentic one – simple but special. Unfortunately, cooked in the oven at home Cecina loses a little of its flavour: in fact it prefers the “live flames” of a wood-burning oven, just like pizza. But have a go at making it anyway; it’s well worth the effort. It’s a speciality that’s delicious but not easy to come by. In the few pizzerias that still prepare it, it’s served on its own or sandwiched in a focaccia or flatbread made with olive oil.

(1) The ideal thing would be a round copper or aluminium pan, as used in traditional bakeries.