Cecina is the Tuscan version of the chickpea flatbread, an easy and ancient recipe that goes back to the Etruscans, who were big consumers of chickpeas.  Given its high energetic power, it was born as a breakfast but among farmers it was often eaten in the fields as lunch, accompanied by pecorino cheese, prosciutto and a glass of Chianti.

Cecina is still very popular along the Tuscan coast, especially in Livorno where you can still ask for a “five and five”, which meant five cents’ worth of bread and five cents’ worth of cecina.

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves 4-6

-          180 g (1 ½ cups)  chickpea flour
-          3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil plus some for greasing the pan
-          2 sage leaves and half rosemary sprig (optional but highly recommended)
-          Salt and pepper q.b. (quanto basta- to taste)
-          500 ml (2 cups) of water

Preheat the oven to 500 F. Grease a 26cm ovenproof dish with extra virgin olive oil.

Put olive oil in a small bowl with the sage leaves and rosemary sprig; let it rest for at least 30 min.

Pour water into a large bowl and gradually add the chickpeas flour, stirring constantly. Stir in the olive oil after removing the sage and rosemary and add one tsp of salt and a generous pinch of black pepper.

Pour the batter into the greased pan- the batter should not be more than 1 cm (1/2 inch) deep.

Bake for 20 min and broil for 3-4 min until the top is golden yellow and cracked.

Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle it with pepper. Serve hot with pecorino cheese and salami; all accompanied by a glass of Chianti.

Buona cecina!