Hailing from the coastal area of Livorno, this classic chickpea recipe is a much-beloved local tradition. Students and late-night munchies seekers revel in this dish, and local Italian families looking to provide on-the-go snacks for kids adore this delight for its versatility and most importantly, portability.
No need to soak chickpeas here as the recipe uses chickpea flour instead - this is a must, so look for the flour in local specialty grocers or shops catering to Italian clients. The torta is typically served on its own, cut into squares, but here we flesh it out for you and make it more substantial for a great starter or first course.
No classic Livornese feast would be complete without this chickpea recipe included, so why not go all out on your next seafood bash and include gorgeous Chickpea Torta and maybe a Cacciucco alla Livornese as well? Bring your lovely self and your friends to one of our favorite Tuscan coastal towns on this glorious culinary journey!
Prepare the chickpea flour torta base
In medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients for torta. Blend well, being sure to avoid leaving clumps in mixture. Set aside, and allow to rest at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 220C. In round baking pan (can also use Springform pan), line bottom with wax paper. Grease paper well with extra-virgin olive oil, and pour in chickpea mixture.
Place into preheated oven and allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, or until torta is firm to touch and cooked through.
Oven-roast the tomatoes
Preheat oven to 140C.
Wash tomatoes well, remove green tops. Cut in half, and place onto baking tray lined with wax paper. Finely mince aromatic herbs and garlic clove. Place in small bowl and blend, set aside. Dress well with olive oil and salt. Top with diced aromatic herbs and garlic blend. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake tomatoes in preheated oven for at least 1 hour, or until tomatoes are softened to the touch and give off lovely tomato aroma.
Prepare the smoky eggplant purée
Wash eggplants thoroughly, dry well. Turn on two burners on stovetop, set to medium heat. Place eggplants directly on top of flame and allow to cook until eggplant peels are slightly burned, and there is an aroma of smoking food in the air.
Turn eggplants often as they cook, and be careful not to pierce the outer skin. Remove from heat only once well-cooked and softened, approximately 10-15 minutes. Allow eggplants to cool, and remove skin. Coarsely chop, set aside.
Peel and finely slice medium yellow onion, set aside. In medium sauté pan, coat bottom with extra-virgin olive oil, and add onion and fresh thyme. Allow to cook a few minutes, then add chopped eggplants. Adjust to taste with salt, and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
Place mixture while still hot into standard-size blender, and mix well adding a bit of olive oil to help get to smooth, creamy consistency.
Assemble the servings and finish dish
When chickpea torta is cooled, slice into individual wedges.
Place serving of eggplant purée onto each individual serving plate, add roasted tomatoes next to purée, and top with wedge of chickpea torta.
60 minutes 10 ingredients 461 kCal