Focaccia al Figlio
Marcella Hazan’s Chickpea Focaccia Recipe
This one’s for you, Lucas!
This recipe is adapted from Marcella Cucina, by Marcella Hazan
2-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fine chickpea flour- about 1-3/4 cups (Make your own by grinding dried chick peas in food processor until texture is fine.)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup onion – very thinly sliced and soaked in cold water (I would use Vidalia because it is sweet. Yellow is fine too).
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves – stripped from branches (I would chop them because I don’t like bumping into a whole rosemary needle, but that’s just me!)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the water and salt into a mixing bowl. Sift the chick pea flour into the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir thoroughly with a fork or whisk. Let the mixture mature at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350F
3. Squeeze out the onion and Drain the onion into a strainer, refill the bowl with cold water, and drop the onion back into it. Repeat this operation three or four times during a 45-minutes to 1-hour period. At the end, drain the onion, transfer it to a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and stir to coat the onion. (I would just squeeze out the onion once and dry it on paper towels.)
4. Add the rosemary leaves to the chick pea flour/water batter, distributing them uniformly.
5. Coat the bottom and sides of an 11 x 7 x 2 inch black baking pan the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the chick pea batter into the pan, leveling it off. Scatter the onion over the batter, distributing it as evenly as you can. Bake in the upper level of the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. The focaccia edges should turn brown and become crisp.
6. Remove from the oven, lift the focaccia carefully out of the pan, cut into diamond-shaped pieces, and sprinkle with coarse ground pepper.
7. Serve immediately.
serves 8-10 portions
I was thrilled when my son Lucas texted me a picture of the “Chicken in a Bag” recipe he found on my website. When I asked him what else he would like to learn how to cook, he texted me a single word.
I was sunk! I have never liked focaccia, and preferred making a whole pizza if I was going to go through the trouble of making my own dough.
So I went to my “go-to” gal, Marcella Hazan, to see her recipe. Turns out, Marcella made a “chick pea flour” version of focaccia.
I love the idea of alternative flours. White flour tastes great, but I have a sensitivity to low blood-sugar levels, and I can get a bit shaky if I eat white flour products on an empty stomach. Since chick peas have a lower glycemic index, this recipe would be one that I would try.
I also learned recently from my friend Berlirce that her favorite recipe from her native Cameroon is an African dish made from ground dried chick peas mixed with a little water and oil, wrapped in a banana leaf, and cooked in hot water for several hours. This chick pea flour is calling me!
This recipe is for “mio figlio”, (my son), for helping me find a focaccia I can fall in love with.
“…I consider cooking to be an act of love. I do enjoy the craft of cooking, of course, otherwise I would not have done so much of it, but that is a very small part of the pleasure it brings me. What I love is to cook for someone. To put a freshly made meal on the table, even if it is something very plain and simple as long as it tastes good and is not a ready-to-eat something bought at the store, is a sincere expression of affection, it is an act of binding intimacy directed at whoever has a welcome place in your heart. And while other passions in your life may at some point begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
― Marcella Hazan
Thanks be to…
Lucas Gough, my sunny son, for making my “Chicken-in-a-Bag” recipe and texting me pics. I hope to get a pic of you making this focaccia one day!