Thursday, 8 November 2012

Farina, Farina, Farinata

a40 farina

This little car is an A40 Farina. We had one back in the 1960s[with the fab registration SHE 700] Why Austin chose the name, I do not know – my Dad told me farina was the Latin word for flour!

Move on 40 years or more – and in my kitchen cupboard there is flour

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On the left is Italian ‘00’ grade flour – this is Bob’s – I bought it for him as a birthday present, knowing that someone else was giving him a pasta maker. On the right is a bag of gram [chickpea] flour from my favourite Asian Supermarket. The gram flour is useful for Indian recipes [chapatis, pakoras etc] I am told it also makes a brilliant face mask if mixed to a paste with natural yogurt [but I haven’t tried that yet] Then I was reading this book…

skyegingell_favourite ingredients

Ms Gingell says pulses and grains are the mainstay of her cooking, and she positively raves about a flatbread called farinata which is a speciality of Genoa. You can read how she discovered this food in the article here from the Independent back in 2007.

I knew Genoa gave us seafood dishes, pesto, and that wonderful sponge cake beloved of Mary Berry – but farinata was new to me.

However I was looking for some carbs to accompany leftover curry [we had it with rice on the first day and I wanted to do different] and the fact this used gram flour made it seem appropriate.

You start by making a batter, cooking it briefly in the frying pan, then put the pan into the oven to finish baking. It tasted good!

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I made the mistake of wiping the glass door just before taking the picture, hence steamy streaks!

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Original recipe in the Independent says “Serves 2” but same quantities in the cookbook says “Serves 6” We ate half with the curry – so I would say “Serves 4”

Farinata

225g chickpea flour
4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Ligurian)
1tsp sea-salt
A little freshly ground black pepper
225ml sparkling mineral water
A few sprigs of rosemary (optional)

Place the chickpea flour in a bowl, pour over the olive oil and add the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chopped rosemary, if using. Next, whisk in the mineral water - mix it until the batter is smooth and leave it to sit for 20 minutes.

To cook, heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to ensure that the base of the pan is well covered.

Gently ladle in the batter, turn the heat down slightly and cook for a minute or so, before removing the pan to the oven. Bake without turning for 10-15 minutes, or until the pancake is thoroughly cooked through and golden brown. Remove and serve while still warm. With whatever you choose to serve it with, a sprinkling of salt is essential.

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I did put rosemary in my bread – Bob described it as ‘fragrant’ – on reflection it probably wasn’t the best herb to accompany a curry.

I did not use Ligurian Olive Oil, bottled by extra virgins basking in the Mediterranean sunshine. Mine was best Approved Food Bargain Basement. And I realised too late that what I thought was a bottle of sparkling water was just a bottle of tapwater I had put in the fridge to cool down! [I improvised by shaking it up with 1 tsp bicarb and it worked just as well]

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Planning to spilt and toast the leftover slices for supper.

I have just discovered that Austin’s choice of the Farina name came from Pininfarina, the Italian family of automobile designers from Turin who were responsible for the styling. But in Sweden it was called the ‘Futura’-  because farina there is a sort of brown sugar. Well, I always thought SHE 700 was a sweet little car!

5 comments:

  1. Mmmm, it looks nice! I love the fact you teach me something when I read your blog!

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  2. Et c'est farine en fran├žais! I'm actually reducing wheat gluten at the moment and am pleased with the results... Your olive oil comment reminded me of a super book I read after coming back from Italy:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Extra-Virgin-Amongst-Groves-Liguria/dp/0140294236

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  3. Your bread looks lovely! And as always, your post is an education. Thanks!

    xofrances

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  4. We like farinata too - sometimes I saute a few chopped sweet peppers in the bottom of the pan before pouring in the batter. (This is probably not authentically Italian, but it's very tasty - I call it Confetti Farinata.)

    I hadn't heard of using sparkling water - flat has always worked for me.

    Farina as a car name is new to me!

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  5. I think the car was named after the designer, Pininfarina of Italy.

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