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chickpea polenta, or bean stew

Two meanings. In Piedmont, notably in Novara, it's a filling dish of white or borlotti beans and rice, with onions and sausage, or salame (especially the local salame della duja) in a broth or other pork parts. Sometimes it includes frogs as well. It's celebrated every June in a Sagra della Panissa in Morano sul Po (Piedmont).

In Liguria, it's a substitute for polenta. Made from chickpea flour, similar to farinata, panissa is slow-cooked and stirred into a thick paste and left to set, then sometimes sliced and fried in olive oil.

Also spelled paniscia.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: hotelristorantelatorretta, truciolisavonesi