June 27, 2024

Creamy, Crunchy, Chickpea Flapjacks Cacio e Pepe–Style

Recipe: Chris Nuttal-Smith

“Use a lot of olive oil, way more rosemary than you think you should and a ton of black pepper to create flapjacks that have a crunchy, crusty exterior with a creamy interior.” – Chris Nuttal-Smith


At Home

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (see note)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

At Camp

  • Prepared chickpea flour mixture
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves (yes, this seems like a lot; go with it!)
  • 2 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Fresh sliced tomatoes (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

At Home: Make Chickpea Mixture

  1. In resealable bag, combine chickpea flour and salt. Dry mix keeps up to 1 month, unrefrigerated.

At Camp: Make Batter

  1. In resealable bag with chickpea flour mixture, combine water and 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Seal bag, shake to mix well and let stand for up to 8 hours.

At Camp: Fry Flapjacks

  1. Set 10″ nonstick skillet over high heat. Working quickly, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of rosemary leaves to pan and swirl to coat bottom and sides.
  2. Gently pour half of prepared batter into pan and cook until flapjack is laced with air holes and is nutty brown at its edges, about 2 minutes. (Batter will displace some oil when you pour it in.)
  3. Slide spatula under flapjack to dislodge any sticking bits, shake pan to release, then flip and cook until it turns crisp on outside but is still slightly creamy in centre, about 1 minute more. Transfer to warm plate. Adjust heat, if necessary (skillet will continue to heat as you cook, so it may have gotten too hot), then repeat with remaining olive oil, rosemary and batter.
  4. Cut flapjack into wedges then shave cheese onto it using vegetable peeler or knife. Cheese keeps 1 to 2 weeks, unrefrigerated. To make it vegan, add fresh sliced tomatoes or any roasted vegetable. Dress with more pepper than seems reasonable.

Note: The quality of different chickpea flours varies. I’ve had the best results with brands from Italy, easily found at Italian grocers or online.


Maya Visnyei


Recipes from Cook It Wild by Chris Nuttall-Smith. ©2023 Chris Nuttall-Smith. Photography by Maya Visnyei and illustrations by Claire McCracken. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved