Socca Chickpea Pancake

Fluffy soccas with a hearty and earthy taste are fabulous for these dismal autumn days

It is grey and wet outside; the perfect weather to celebrate the weekend by making a batch of pancakes for brunch.

On my search for more nutritious alternatives to plain wheat pancakes I stumbled across socca.

Socca, farinata, or cecina are pancakes made from chickpea flour. They originate from Genoa and are popular on the Ligurian Coast from Nice to Pisa. I have never had one cooked for me, and do not know how they should taste. The first recipes I experimented with turned out tasty but seemed too soggy. That is until I was in a bookshop leaving through Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Plenty”. I discover that he adds egg whites to the batter. Of course I had to try this. The result is an amazingly light pancake with the most lovely texture.

Since socca have become one of my favourite lunch dishes. I have been having them with all sorts of toppings: roast tomato and onion / avocado and tomato / fried egg and spinach….

(recipe as I remember it form leafing through Ottolenghi’s  ‘Plenty’. Possibly he uses the egg yolk – I leave it out)
1 – 2 servings, depending on the topping you choose

70g chickpea flour (also called gram or besam)
120ml water
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites


  1. Combine flour, water, olive oil and salt. Whisk together.
  2. You can leave this mix to stand (5 minutes / 2 hours how much ever time you have). But this step is not necessary.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until peaks form.
  4. Carefully fold the egg whites under the batter.
  5. I make two 20cm pancakes, but you could also make smaller ones.
    Ladle the batter into your frying pan. Use your spatula to distribute the batter evenly.
  6. Cook the pancakes on a medium-low heat until golden; about two minutes on each side.
  7. If you are making larger amounts you can keep the pancakes warm by placing in a 125C oven on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Currently my favourite topping: Spinach and fried egg
1 – 2 eggs
200g spinach
Salt, pepper

  1. Fry an egg sunny side up.
  2. Briefly allow some spinach to wilt. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve the socca, with spinach and egg.

Alternative topping: Roasted tomato and onion
(this is the original topping from Ottolenghi’s recipe)

250g cherry tomatoes
2 onions
salt, pepper
apple cider vinegar

  • Halve tomatoes. Place on baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and bake in oven for 25 minutes at 120C (250F).
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Peel onion and cut into thick slices. Saute in oil. Add a sprinkle of thyme, salt, pepper. Cover and cook 20min until soft and golden. Add a splash of vinegar.

Other ideas

  • Wilted spinach and fried mushrooms
  • Rocket, avocado,(roast) cherry tomatoes
  • Hummus and roasted red peppers

    Creamy avocado and roast tomato

Wilted spinach and fried egg

  1. This would make a perfect brunch for my celiac mum-in-law. Thanks.

    • afracooking said:

      Yes this is great option for someone eating gluten-free! I hope she enjoyes it!

  2. Liz said:

    You made me think of soccer straight away. At least I’ve learnt a new thing today. Thanks so much. I shall plan to try this one!!!

    • afracooking said:

      Hihi – trying to forget about the soccer here 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: