During these strange and uncertain times, we’re all in need of a pick-me-up. And what better than something to feed the body as well as the soul? In our current cookery series, James Gingell from The Stinky Chef deli in Rawtenstall, Lancashire shares a selection of delicious recipes.

Gingell says: “Here is a recipe for an unleavened flatbread, known as Farinata, originating from Genoa, Italy where it’s said that Roman soldiers roasted chickpea pancakes on their shields while seated around the campfire. In the South of France, this delicacy is known as Socca and is served as a street food. Great for vegans, it’s gluten-free and packed with protein and fibre. Plus, it’s extremely easy to make and best eaten warm straight from the oven.”

Chickpea Flatbread


250g chickpea flour

250ml water

1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

1 ½ tsp garlic salt

50ml extra virgin olive oil

2 sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)

Sprinkle of sea salt flakes


SoccaFirstly, take equal quantities of chickpea flour and water, add to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to full blast (better still if you have a wood-burning pizza oven like the Romans then get it cranked up).

At this point, you can add herbs or spices from your fridge or cupboard. The flavours are up to you. Here I have added extra virgin olive oil, chopped rosemary, chilli flakes and garlic salt.

Now, pre-heat a cast iron frying pan or skillet, add a little olive oil and ladle in the chickpea batter and swirl around the pan like a pancake.

Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for around 10 minutes or until crispy around the edges.

Remove from the oven and carefully flip out onto a board.

Continue to repeat this process depending on the size of your frying pan/skillet or until all the batter has been used.

Cut into triangles and serve warm with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe goes well with salads, soups, cheese, dips or even just a snack with a glass of chilled rosé wine. Placed in an air-tight container it will last up to three days. However, as previously mentioned, nothing beats eating it straight out of the oven.

Buon Appetito.