San Gwann Primary
St. Clare College
The Maltese are known to love food and they always put passion, love and dedication in every plate they cook.
Traditional recipes are passed on from generation to generation.
Pastizzi is probably the most popular snack on the island. The traditional ricotta cheesecake is sold for a really cheap price in all the Pastizzerias around Malta and Gozo. They are always warm as the high demand requires to bake them continuously during the day. The most common pastizzi are made with ricotta, but there is also another variation: pastizzi with peas filling. Your holiday in Malta won’t be complete if you don’t try at least one out!
For the pastry:
- 400grams plain flour
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 200 ml cold water
- 50grams margarine, or lard, or butter
… or simply buy puff pastry
For the filling:
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs beaten
Preheat the oven to hot 425°F or gas mark 7 (220 °C).
For the pastry:
Mix the sieved flour and salt with approximately 200ml of cold water into a soft pliable but not sticky dough, knead well. Leave to rest for about 90 minutes.
When rested, roll stretch and pull the dough on a floured surface, into long strips, spread half the fat over the entire length of dough, first with a palette knife then with clean hands, take one end of the dough and roll it up like a Swiss roll, make it uneven turning it tightly sometimes then more loosely. Rest it in a cool place.
- Repeat the rolling and sometimes so that the roll is once more a long strip, spread the remaining fat, roll it up again like a Swiss roll this time in a different direction from the first roll, all these rolling enhance the flakiness of the finished pastry, rest it again.
Method for the filling:
Whisk the eggs in a large basin.
Mash the ricotta with the salt and pepper, add the beaten eggs.
Cut off pieces of dough the size of a small ball with a sharp knife, pull out each piece with your fingers like a thin disc
Place a spoonful of ricotta mixture in the centre, close the dough around it and seal the edge with your fingers.
- Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or till golden. Serve hot with a nice cup of tea!
Typical Maltese platter
crusty bread, water biscuits, bigilla, cheeslets, olives, sun dried tomatoes and pickled onions.
Dips like bigilla and olives, eaten with crusty bread, often accompanies a fresh drink during the warm Summer. Crusty bread is also used as appetizer as “ħobż biż-żejt”, which in English translates as bread with oil. A thick slice of Ftira bread with tomato paste and topped with capers, olives, garlic, black pepper, sliced pickled onions and sometimes tuna or anchovies.
(Part of the Platter) Ħobż biż-Żejt
- Dense, crusty ftira bread or sliced Maltese bread
- Good quality tomato paste (known in Maltese as kunserva)
- Chopped Onions and garlic / pickled onions
- Anchovies or tinned tuna in oil, drained(optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- (Optional) sliced lettuce and tomatoes
- Spread tomato paste over slices of ftira bread.
- Sprinkle capers and chopped raw onions. Season withsalt and freshly ground pepper.
- Finallysprinkle with parsley and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil.
- If you wish you can top it with anchovies or tuna.
(Part of the Platter) Bigilla – Broad Beans Dip
- 1lb small button brown beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoons of mixed fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
If preferred hot and spicy add:
- 2/3 chili peppers
- a dash of Tabasco
- Soak beans overnight replace water.
- Add salt to taste bring to boil & simmer until beans are soft mash beans (or blend) and place them in a serving dish.
- Pour olive oil on top.
- Add other ingredients to taste.
Can be served hot or cold as an appetizer.
Stuffat tal-fenek (Rabbit Stew)
Maltese rabbit stew is a succulent slow cooked dish. The meat is so tender that it falls off the bone.
1 rabbit (1 ½ – 2kg)
For the Marinade:
- 500 ml red wine; 3 fresh bay leaves; 4 cloves of garlic
For the sauce:
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 ½ litres tomato purée
- 80 ml extra virgin oil
- 5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped in small cubes
- 200g peas (fresh or canned)
Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
Remove rabbit kidneys and liver. Remove the front and back legs. Cut each in half and cut the saddle into 5 pieces.
Place the rabbit pieces, kidneys and liver into the marinade and refrigirate overnight, turning several times.
To cook the meat, strain the rabbit without throwing away the liquid, discarding garlic and bay leaves.
In a lrage pot, heat the olive oil. Add the rabbit until slightly brown.
Add the onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and pour half of the marinade on the ingredients.
Bring to boil on a high flame for about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining wine, peas, bay leaves, kidney and liver and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours or until rabbit meat is tender enough, stir occasionally and add some more wine if the sauce begins to dry up.
Biskuttini tal-Lewz (Almond biscuits) by Francesca Grech
Chewy and delicious, all you need are 5 ingredients and 20 minutes to make these classic Maltese almond cookies.
These sweets are a traditional Maltese dessert usually prepared for Christmas, Easter and other festivities (like Christening parties).
Traditional Maltese almond cookies are made with only 5 ingredients and are ready in only 20 min.
200 g ground almonds
180 g sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg white
vanilla extract (a few drops)
25 whole almonds
Rice paper for baking
Biskuttini tal-Lewz by Francesca Grech
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients (except the whole almonds and rice paper) and mix until evenly combined.
Shape small amounts into tiny balls with your hands.
Flatten up the surface by lightly pressing each ball with your thumb.
Arrange the biscuits on a tray covered with rice paper.
Put a whole almond on top of each biscuit.
Bake in a preheated oven to 170°C/350°F for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy inside.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the cookies on a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly, then serve.