Use left-over pasta and a little garbanzo-bean flour to make a quick and healthy pizza alternative for pennies. Creamy on the inside with crispy edges, Pasta Slice is perfect for chilly evenings as a main dish. Try it as a hearty snack after school or while watching sports. This pizza-like goodness is gluten-free if you use gluten-free noodles.
Pasta Slice with Garbanzo-Bean Flour
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes. Makes 4 main-dish servings. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free depending on pasta and sauce you use.
- 1 cup garbanzo-bean flour (120 grams) (also called chickpea flour or besan flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a few grinds of ground black pepper (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 2 cups cooked pasta with tomato sauce
- Put one oven rack in the middle of the oven and another under the broiler with just enough room for a well-seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Put the skillet on the middle rack and heat oven to 450°F.
- Whisk garbanzo-bean flour, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of water and whisk until batter is smooth. Add remaining water and one tablespoon olive oil, then whisk to combine.
- Put batter, pasta, a heat-proof trivet, and a fork near your oven. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and put on the trivet. Pour remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet. Tilt the skillet to coat its bottom and sides up to about an inch from the top.
- Add pasta to the skillet and spread evenly. Pour batter over pasta, poking pasta down under batter as needed. Use the fork to poke through batter to the bottom of the skillet several times so steam can escape. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack until top starts to crack and bits of pasta brown. Put the skillet under the broiler for three more minutes until Pasta Slice is brown in spots and crispy edges pull away from the skillet.
- Cut Pasta Slice into wedges and serve hot or warm. Refrigerate extra for a day or two. Keep it crispy by reheating in a toaster oven on a toast cycle. For creamier results, reheat in a regular oven.
- Make-ahead tip: the batter will keep for four hours at room temperature or for five days in the refrigerator, so you could whisk it up on the weekend and have a nearly no-work dinner on a weeknight.
- Use pasta with a savory tomato sauce. I used sauce with bell peppers and onions for the version pictured above. It's also good with sauce made with hearty greens or mushrooms.
- Small or thin pasta is easiest to submerge in the batter. I prefer the rotini shown here but have also used spaghetti and angel-hair pasta. If you want to skip the noodles, just make a more traditional socca, the inspiration for this recipe.
- Poking through the batter with a fork keeps the socca from being soggy.
- To save energy and time, bake potatoes or roast veggies while your socca cooks.