Thursday, February 3, 2011

Garbonzo Bean Flour Pizza Crust or Cecina (Farinata)

I have to thank my Mom and Dad for this recipe. They have been experimenting with this for quite some time now. Farinata (which literally means made of flour in Italian) is a thin, crisp, pizza-like pancake from Liguria, Italy. Variations are eaten in many different Mediterranean countries and beyond.

My Mom buys dried garbanzo beans in bulk and makes flour from them in the dry container for the Vitamix. They served it for our family Sunday Dinner last weekend and the kids loved it so much that they asked for it tonight. I finally gave it a try for myself  and he's how I did it. It was so simple and delicious! This dish provides a great meatless protein source as well.

Here's the picture of the one my Dad made on Sunday. It had sun dried tomatoes, crushed garlic, basil, pecorino romano, prosciutto, salt and pepper on top. :

I made two basil and tomato and one cheese only for tonight's dinner.

Ingredients: (Made three 10 inch pizzas!)
  • 2 cups Garbonzo Bean Flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • (optional) Pecorino Romano
(If a more cake like texture is desired, you can add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. I've had it both ways and I think I like the more traditional, basic version.)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and slowly add the water with a wooden spoon making sure to mix well. Add the salt. The mixture should be smooth and look just like the perfect pancake batter.
  3. The trick is to let the mixture sit for an hour or so. You could even let it sit overnight. I put it in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking.
  4. I used a round oven safe frying pan (metal handle). You can use any oven safe pan with boarders. Pour some olive oil into pan for the bottom of the pan, or use cooking spray. Add the mixture, as if you are pouring crepe batter into a pan, about 1/2 inch thick. You can sprinkle some Pecorino Romano on top if desired or leave it without.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-30 minutes.
  6. The crust is done when it pulls away from the sides and it looks fully cooked.
  7. Add fresh ground pepper to the top and or Pecorino and enjoy as is or add toppings.
  8. I removed the crust from the pan with a spatula and put it on a cookie sheet, added tomato sauce, Pecorino Romano, fresh basil and tomato slices and baked for 12 more minutes.


  1. This recipe is awesome. Easy, yummy, filling, gluten free. Thanks so much. There aren't a lot of recipes out there I can eat so I really appreciate it. I'm pinning it right now!

  2. Awe, thanks Becca! I'm so glad I can help. I'll keep them coming. My daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes so it's slowed my posting down a bit. I'll gearing up to pick it back up. :-)

  3. I can't wait to try this recipe! My son is ADHD so we are going gluten-free...he's a major pizza lover :-)

    Thanks for the recipe!


  4. This looks great! I want to try it this week. Do you think I could get away with using my pizza stone? I usually preheat the stone while the oven is preheating (to prevent breakage from going cold to hot too fast), and then slide a crust onto it with a pizza peel and bake (I usually dust the peel with corn meal for easy, non-stick sliding). Do you think this type of crust would tolerate that kind of handling, or would it tend to break apart? Thanks. Laura

  5. I made this tonight, and it was wonderful! I might cook it a little longer next time, as the crust could have been a bit crisper. But the flavor was wonderful! Thank you!

  6. I usually put my crusts on a sheet of parchment paper on my pizza stone. I think that might help with the sticking and make it easier to transfer to cool.