Italy for Beginners
Every journey involves possible pitfalls that can lead to awkward situations or unexpected expenses when things go really bad.
Have you ever heard about Cecina? It is a Ligurian and Tuscan recipe. It is very loved in Tuscany and it is very easy to prepare!
Cecina has got a different names depending on the city where it is prepared: in Livorno it is called Torta (cake) in Pisa it is called 5 e 5, this is because it was used to fill our famous Schiacciata or put between two slices of bread. People used to buy bread for 5 liras and adding other 5 liras they could buy Cecina.
In Carrara it is called calda calda which means very warm and it refers to the fact that it should be tasted immediately when it comes out the oven and therefore it is very hot. Shop keepers used to walk in the old town centre shouting “calda calda” in order to attract customers and sell their product! The name was kept this way, even though today you can find it only in pizza restaurants.
This is how you can prepare it:
600 ml – water, room temperature
180 gr: chickpea flour
80 gr: evo oil
8 gr: salt
Black pepper for topping
Mix chickpea flour with water and take care not to produce any lumps. Then add half a dose of oil and 8 gr of salt and keep on bending the ingredients.
Let the batter rest for at least 3 hours. Meanwhile use oil to grease an oven dish, add the batter and then use the remaining of the oil to dress your Cecina. Then let it cook using the maximum temperature for around 20 minutes. (Keep in mind: the temperature of your oven should not be under 200°)
The traditional way to cook a Cecina is using a charcoal grill in the form of copperware, but if you have good flour you can make it using your electric oven with great results! Last but not least, sprinkle black pepper all over your Cecina.
In Tuscany we eat it when it is still warm, as it comes out from the oven. Otherwise you can use it to fill your schiacciata or your bread, as in Pisa people used to do, or eat it with cheese.
Enjoy your meal!