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Chickpea (Ceci Bean) "Focaccia" with Onion and Rosemary Recipe

A classic Ligurian Farinata courtesy of Marcella Hazan, and her classic Italian cookbook, Marcella Cucina. Whenever I need to find a classic Italian recipe, I turn to Marcella before I look anywhere else. And she never disappoints.

Recipe adapted from Marcella Cucina, by Marcella Hazan (HaperCollins, 1997)

ingredients:
2-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup fine chickpea (ceci bean) flour - about 1-3/4 cups
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup onion - very thinly sliced and soaked in cold water
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves - stripped from branches
Freshly ground black tellicherry pepper

directions:
1. Put the water and salt into a mixing bowl. Pour the ceci bean flour into the bowl, passing it through a strainer to eliminate any lumps in the flour. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir thoroughly with a fork or whisk. Let the mixture mature at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or even 6.

2. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

3. Before you change the water in which the onion is soaking, squeeze the onion with our hands; this eliminates some of its sharp, milky fluid. Drain the onion into a strainer, refill the bowl with sold 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.

4. Add the rosemary leaves to the ceci bean flour and 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 ceci bean 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 Farinata's edges should turn brown and become crisp.

6. Remove from the oven, lift the farinata carefully out of the pan, cut into diamond-shaped pieces, and sprinkle with coarse ground pepper.

7. Serve immediately.

serves 8-10 portions
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