Saucy Roasted Red Pepper Socca with Caramelized Onions

Saucy Socca Pizza

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Earlier this week I shared a recipe that was inspired by the Cherry Blossoms blooming all around me, so to balance out my light, refreshing, girly salad, I decided to do the complete opposite for the next one.

And what’s more grungy, rustic, and delicious than…


Okay, okay…this isn’t a ‘normal’ pizza. It’s actually called socca, and traditionally it’s not topped with anything. Other names you might recognize it as are farinata (from Genoa) or cecina (from Tuscany). Typically, the term socca comes from the region of Nice. Now, you’re probably wondering, “has she ever been to any of these places?”.


The only place outside of the U.S. that I’ve been to is Canada, specifically Stratford, Ontario. My family and I used to visit every year because my uncle and great-grandmother lived there. Both her (Emmamae) and my great-grandfather (Henry) are buried there. My father went to grade school there for a little while, and we also favored going to the theatre.

four generations

{four generations: Emmamae holding my grandmother, Agnes. Next to her mother (left) and grandmother}

great grandfather henry

{great-grandfather, Henry}

The first show I remember seeing was Treasure Island when I was somewhere around seven?? Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me and I stuck with fluffy shows from there on out….like The Music Man, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s been almost four years since I was last there, and I’m itching to get back. I miss the river, the music, the art, the food (the first and only place I’ve ever been able to order salt & vinegar french fries without someone looking at me like I was crazy. Must be a Canadian thing ;)), and the people. My aunt Karen (and other family) currently lives there, so I really have no excuse not to visit.

Except the fact that I don’t have a passport…

Minor detail.

Or the funds to do so…

Major detail.

Aaaany who…

I realize now as I’m writing this post, that this particular recipe reminds me of Stratford more than I thought. It’s different, packed with smoky flavor, and would be the perfect, post-show late night snack. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free for those who prefer that kind of dish.

Saucy Roasted Red Pepper Socca, with Caramelized Onions

I used a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and have found this is what works best. The other alternative would be to use a round tin or non-stick cake pan. If you use tin, you’ll have to grease it generously. Also, there are different consistencies you can come up with. For a more cracker-like socca, add less water. If you want your socca thick and sort of custard-y in the middle, add more water. I’ve settled on 1 cup. 

Makes 1, 10-inch pizza

  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, diced
  • 2 tsp oil
  • fresh basil
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper sauce (recipe below)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, water and salt. Set aside.

Put oil in your cast-iron skillet and move into your oven while you pre-heat to 425 degrees. Keep skillet in there at least 7-8 minutes, with out letting the oil smoke. Remove from pre-heated oven, whisk flour mixture again before pouring it into the skillet. Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes.

While your socca bakes, saute yellow and red onion over medium-low heat, until they begin to brown. If they start to stick a lot, reduce the heat and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Let them saute for about 20 minutes, add Portobello mushrooms, and saute until some of the water cooks out. The longer you cook the onions, the more the sugars begin to breakdown, making the onions a deep caramel color. Overall, this whole process took about 30 minutes for me. But you could probably get away with 20 minutes and still get the caramelization.

While the socca bakes and you caramelize the onions, this would be a good time to make your sauce (see recipe below).

After your socca has baked and been removed, top with sauce, onion/mushroom mixture, chopped fresh basil, and a few cracks of black pepper. Put under the broiler (mine was set at 525 degrees) for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it!

Remove from skillet and cut into square or triangular pieces. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

You may find that you have enough toppings and sauce to make two socca pizzas. It all depends on how much you want to put on.

Roasted Red Pepper sauce

Makes approx. 2 cups

  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 16-oz jar fire roasted red peppers, liquid reserved (I used a red/yellow combo jar)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke*

With your food processor or blender running, add the garlic. Turn it off. Add the roasted red pepper and nutritional yeast. Then begin to add the liquid smoke. Start with 1/2 tsp, and add as much as you need to achieve that smoky flavor! I ended up with 1 tsp.

*I had seen liquid smoke in recipes before but never ventured out to buy it, thinking it wasn’t worth the drive and cost. I was soooo wrong. It tasted like I was eating a wood fired pizza, and it only coast $1.99 at Whole Foods!!! So yes, it was worth it.

saucy socca

saucy socca saucy socca saucy socca

Where did you visit as a child? Any special food memories from it??

Leave a comment


  1. Wow that looks fantastic. I’ll be saving this one.

  2. This looks awesome! I really wish I tolerated beans better so I could make this!

  3. Debbie

     /  March 30, 2012

    I know there was inpiration for this recipe ”
    Pizza” comes to mind…but did you make the combination of topping up??
    Sorry did not read it all…I mostly looked at the pictures and read the Stratford stuff.
    I think your 1st play was the bloody and gory King Lear.
    Anyway you are going to be very busy cooking on the island 🙂
    Keep up the good work er cooking!
    Does Chris know how lucky he is!!!!

    • Yes I did come up with the combo! Caramelized onions might be one of my favorite things to eat, ever. Hmm, King Lear, really? Maybe that’s why I like horror movies so much lol.

  4. MUST make socca……it’s so on the list!!! Wonderful pizza!

  5. That looks so good. I love the idea of using chickpea flour. Also- thanks for the tip about liquid smoke. I, too, have resisted buying it but now I definitely will!

  6. where do you buy chickpea flour? this looks delicious…

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by my blog! You can buy chickpea flour at any health food store, and I’ve even seen it at some main stream grocery stores that have an organic/naturals section. You can also order it online via Bob’s Red Mill.

      • Hey girl! Thanks for the info.
        I love your blog, I’ve tagged a bunch of the recipes to try when I get back home to the States. I can’t wait to try some of them. Thanks for sharing all of them.
        PS Happy Birthday!!

      • Thank you SO much, Sarah! I hope you enjoy them, please let me know how they turn out for you! I’ve been checking out your blog as well…it looks like you had a blast with your parents when they came to visit. Be sure and tell them I said hello 🙂 Thanks for the bday wishes!!

      • Of course, I will for sure let you know how they turn out. Hopefully I can find this chickpea flour because this looks amazing! 🙂 I had a blast with my parents – wish they were still here – and I will definitely tell them you said hello.

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