Socca / Farinata

Socca / Farinata

Socca (aka farinata) is a naturally gluten free food originating in Italy that is popular in France as well. The dish is also loved in Uruguay and Argentina under the name fainá. However, there is a version of fainá called fainá de Savona that includes wheat flour, so please be careful when ordering this.

The base of socca is chickpea flour, and recipes tend to be very simple. The chickpea flour is combined with a large amount of water, plus some olive oil and salt to make a relatively thin batter. It’s best to let this batter sit for a few hours so that the flour can absorb the water and form a better consistency. After this, the batter is poured into a very hot pan in a thin layer and broiled. That said, socca is traditionally baked over an open fire.

Socca is extremely versatile and a great quick meal. Because the beans offer protein and fiber, I’d also consider this a healthy option. I’ve seen a lot of suggestions to treat this as a gluten free pizza base, but the traditional version is served more as a flatbread snack/side.

David Lebovitz has a recipe for homemade socca that I’ve used many times and found pretty foolproof. I use a cast-iron skillet and oil it well, then sprinkle with a hefty amount of salt and pepper before serving.

These socca recipes aren’t as traditional, but showcase the versatility of this dish: