Ligurian Chickpea (Ceci Bean) Polenta Recipe


Ligurian Chickpea Polenta (Panissa) Recipe

Garbanzo beans (or for Italians, Ceci Beans) are the third most popular legume. They are the main ingredient in a number of rustic dishes, and very popular in Liguria. Rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus and potassium, garbanzo bean flour is a common basic ingredient in Ligurian panissa and a chickpea Polenta, where it is mixed with oil, pearl onions, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Hot or cold, it is tasty when fried and cut into squares or strips.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in The Silver Spoon (Phaidon Press, 2005)


2-3/4 cups ceci (chickpea) beans flour

6 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt


1. Pour 4 cups of water into a large pan and heat until warm, then remove the pan from the heat.

2. Pour in the flour, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1-1/4 hours.

3. Rinse several dishes with iced water, ladle the mixture into them and let cool and set.

4. When set, cut into thin strips. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, add the strips, in batches if necessary, and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula, drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and sever hot.