Recipes from Liguria: n°1 - panissa

ready, steady... panissa!


The origin of the word panissa relates to panicum, an ancient cereal similar to millet. A very versatile dish, once prepared during the Lent period, it is no kin to Piedmontese paniccia/paniscia, a sort of hearty risotto rich in legumes.

Cooking time: approx. 60 minutes plus resting time for the batter
Difficulty level: low
Wine matching: white, e.g. (IGT Colline Savonesi) Buzzetto
Serves: 6

Ingredients: 300 g chick pea flour, 1 (scant) liter lukewarm water, DOP riviera ligure extra virgin olive oil to grease the plate, salt to taste

Whisk the flour and the water in a large non-stick casserole: beat slowly and continuously, till you get an even, lump-free mixture. Salt to taste and gently cook (go local and opt for bain marie) this “polentina” for 60 minutes – constant stirring is the secret... Pour on an oiled plate: when cold, cut into cubes and season with extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and thinly-sliced spring onions (or stewed green chards). Alternatively, cut your panissa into strips and deep fry (peanut oil is the ideal choice) – and match with sparkling white wine…
A recipe by Umberto Curti, Ligucibario

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