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onion farinata recipe

Farinata recipe a typical Genoa street food

Farinata, “fainâ” in dialect, is a typical Genoese recipe, a tasty main course, but also an inevitable protagonist of the city’s street food along with the most famous focaccia.

Farinata recipe is composed of a few simple ingredients, which together give life to a dish with a rich and extraordinary taste.  Crispy and golden on the outside, soft on the inside, Farinata is a must have when visiting Genoa.

This preparation is quite famous even beyond the Italian borders. There is indeed a variant called “Socca” in Nice.

In this article we tell you about the origins of the Farinata recipe, a story that mixes with legend, and we will also accompany you in the preparation of this delicacy thanks to the farinata secret recipe of Manuel, owner of Le delizie dell’amico in Via Canneto Lungo 31 Rosso.


According to a legend, after the famous battle of Meloria in which the Genoese won over the Pisans, a sudden storm hit the Genoese galley, causing it to stagger violently, but without sinking it. As a result, the chickpea flour and the oil stored in the hold were mixed with the sea water to form the famous yellow pulp.

The sailors, as good Genoese, did not throw it away, but rather made it dry in the sun inventing without their knowledge the famous FARINATA. With the passing of time, the Farinata recipe was perfected and began to be sold in shops at the time called “sciamadde”, places where the farinata along with other Ligurian specialties were cooked strictly in the wood-burning oven. In this “sciamadde” you could taste the freshly baked products accompanied by a glass of wine (a “gotto” in the Genoese dialect).

Nowadays it is still possible to find some of these “sciamadde” in the city centre, places that have survived the modernization and where it is still possible to taste a good farinata, simple, with onions or with very tasty whitebait.

farinata recipe ingredients

  • Chickpea flour (250 g)
  • Water (750 ml)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil (1 glass)


In a bowl, add the salt and water to the chickpea flour, stir slowly with a whisk in order to avoid lumps and make it perfectly smooth.

Let the mixture rest for at least two hours. Then, mix it again to remove the foam that has formed on the surface. Grease the pan, strictly in tinned copper, and pour the batter. Put it in the oven at 250 degrees for about half an hour paying attention to the browning on the surface. The chickpea flatbread is ready when it’s crusty and golden. “Farinata” should be eaten hot with a sprinkling of pepper to taste.

If you are passing by Genoa or La Spezia and you want to try the original Farinata join one of our Food Tours in Genoa or our Food Tours in La Spezia – Cinque Terre. We’re waiting for you!