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What is Cecina and How do You Make it?

Have you heard about “La Cecìna”? If not, la Cecina is an easy-to-make savory pie composed of chickpeas, flour, water, salt, and extra virgin olive oil.

The legend of the Cecìna is that it was created by coincidence in 1284, when Genoa defeated Pisa in the battle of Meloria. One day, Genoa’s galleys were involved during a storm and the drums of oil and some sacks of chickpeas that they were transporting spilled and mixed with salty water.

The sailors recovered what they could, but some of them refused to eat it and left them under the sun. The result? It became a kind of fritter. The next day, starving to death, they ate the mixture and discovered its deliciousness! When back in Genoa, the sailors tried to cook it in the oven.

Nowadays, the Cecina is a typical dish of the Mediterranean coasts, especially in Ligurian and Tuscan kitchens.

Try this simple recipe.

Ingredients for two pans of 22cm (diameters):

180g chickpeas’ flour

600ml water

1tablespoon salt

80ml olive oil

Black pepper

Procedure

To prepare the Cecina, you will simply need a bowl and a whisk. Put the chickpeas’ flour into the bowl, add salt, and gradually add the water. Mix it well with the whisk to avoid lumps. Add half of the olive oil and the remaining water.

At this point, you will obtain a very liquid mixture. Cover the bowl with wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes. What remains of the olive oil will be used to cover the two molds (it doesn’t matter if the oil isn’t equally distributed all over the surfaces).

After this, distribute the mixture into the two pans. Preheat the oven at 200-220° and cook the Cecina for 15-20 minutes. If you cook the two pans at the same time, remember to alternate them on the ledges of the oven.

The Cecina is ready when the surface is gold, and the peel seems to lift. To finalize the recipe, sprinkle the Cecina with black pepper and serve it hot. It can be served as an appetizer or as a second course.

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