Silver Travel Cook Club

November 2023 – Maltese Traditional Recipes

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

This month our partner at Visit Malta is sponsoring our Cook Club, with the chance to win a copy of recipe book Maltese Traditional Recipes by Joseph Vella. You can also try out the recipe below for delicious pastizzi, puff pastry snacks traditionally filled with ricotta or curried peas.


Malta has long been a favourite with British travellers and Queen Elixabeth II was Queen of Malta until it became a republic in 1974. The links between our two countries are strong and historic, which can be seen on the islands today. However, Maltese food has retained its own identity: it’s Mediterranean with a twist from the East and North Africa. Abundant seafood in the coastal waters makes its way onto the generously portioned plates!

Visitors enjoy the pleasant climate with an early spring and a long autumn, as well as the fascinating historic buildings, many of which are part of everyday life today. The honey coloured cittadella in Rabat (Victoria), the capital on Gozo dates back to the Bronze Age, with additions made through the centuries. Malta itself has made had something of a make-over in the last ten years, with Valletta now showing off its remarkable heritage to spectacular effect.

For a taste of Malta here at home, try this recipe for pastizzi:

Recipe: Pastizzi



  • 14 oz flour
  • Water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 oz soft shortening
  • 2 oz margarine

    Or you could cheat a little and use phyllo (filo) pastry from the shops!


  • 14 oz ricotta
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • Pepper


  1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl, add enough water to make a stiff dough. Beat (in electric mixer) on medium speed until smooth. If the pastry is at all sticky add more flour.
  2. Roll the pastry out 1/8″ thick on a floured board, spread the shortening over the whole surface, using your hands. Roll up as for a Swiss roll. Now roll the pastry out again – spread it this time with margarine. When ready for use, roll it out for the third time.
  3. Make the filling. Mash the ricotta with a fork, add the salt and the unbeaten eggs.
  4. Using a 10cm (4-inch) circular cutter gently press out circles of your pastry. Working one circle at a time, spoon about a tablespoon of your ricotta filling into the centre of the circle. Then, gently fold the pastry in half and pinch the ends together, flattening the base on your work surface. Transfer the pastizzi to a parchment-lined baking sheet before putting the oven.
  5. Bake in a hot oven 220C for 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

How to win a copy of Maltese Traditional Recipes by Joseph Vella

Comment below to tell us why you would like to visit Malta, or if you’re lucky enough to have already been, what was the highlight of your visit.

A winner will be chosen at random in early December 2023.
The competition closes on 30 November 2023.

See all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.

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76 Responses

  1. There are so many woinderful places to visit oin Malta, but the highlight must be the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum – a trip into the bowls of the earth into a 4000-5000 year old underground temple that later became a cemetery. It is a mind blowing experience.

  2. Having just returned from three weeks in Malta and Gozo, there are so many highlights from having an afternoon tea style breakfast in a boutique hotel in Valetta, to the fabulous weather. However, if I could only pick one, it would be staying in Gozo for five nights which most people ‘do’ in a day. This gave us plenty of time to hike and enjoy the more relaxed pace of life.

  3. I went to school with a girl who always went to Malta on holiday. This was before package travel was the norm. We were all so fed up with her continually talking about it that none of us wanted to go to the island. After 50 years I would really like to visit Malta to experience it for myself as it doesn’t seem to have changed as much as other holiday places.

  4. Malta is on my list of places to visit. I want to see Valletta and relax. I hear it is beautiful and relaxing. Great food and lovely views. I’m saving up!

  5. To visit an island steeped in history, ancient and modern, with a warm friendly people and stunning blue sea. Fabulous!

  6. I love Malta with friends and families always to visit and beautiful Valletta and the incredulous bakery Cafe Cordina – can’t wait to return for a Cannoli.

  7. I last visited Malta in the early 1980s and I have very fond memories of my trip. I would love to return and revisit the places I visited

  8. so much culture and history wrapped up in gastronomic delights in the sunshine, what’s not to like. oh, and its on our bucket list as it was one of my foster mom’s favourite places in the world, and now she’s gone we have to go!

  9. I believe Malta is a bit of a marmite experience, you either love or dislike.
    As a marmite lover, I have always wanted to visit Malta, unfortunately it is still on my bucket list, one day!

  10. The highlight of our visit to Malta was an evening in the Mdina; after the hustle and bustle of Valetta and Sliema in the daytime walking through the archway into “the silent city” was magical. The architecture is stunning and ambling along the little narrow traffic free streets to the restaurant Fontanella and sitting at a table adjacent to the city walls on a walm evening watching the sun set was wonderful. It was so so peaceful, looking down and across so much of the
    island, working out which group of twinkling lights indicated which village. Now in our mid 70s it would be so nice to revisit Malta; the little island of which we have so many happy memories.

  11. I always wanted to visit to see some of the old buildings and learn more about Malta’s fascinating history – though I now have an additional reason to visit, a pastizzi and a nice cup of coffee outside a cafe whilst taking in the light on the honey-coloured buildings.

  12. I would love to visit Valletta harbour and wander through the honeycomb streets of the silent city Mdina. I have never been but would love to visit as so much to see and do.

  13. Malta looks so clean and fresh. Lots of family have been and enjoyed themselves. Lots of Maltese friends. It would be a great place to visit.

  14. What is there not to like about Malta? With lovely people ,food and mild weather?
    I have never had a bad time when I have been lucky enough to be there.

    Andy from Plymouth

  15. Getting the bus to Mdina and entering this exotic world , wandering the little streets ,where time seems to have stood still. Loved the island

  16. I’ve never been to Malta but would like to and experience all the history of the island as well as Maltese cooking.

  17. Only ever visited Malta [Valetta] as a day trip from a cruise. I was excited to explore the city as there are so many different things to see, but it would be even better to visit other parts of the island and taste the local food and drink. In addition, it would not matter what time of year you visited as the weather is good all year round.

  18. A visit to Popeye’s village was the highlight of my visit with its collection of rustic and ramshackle buildings. Authentic and lots of fun.

  19. Never been but always loved the look and feel I have seen on Tv such as when the Queen (Elizabeth) went there.

  20. There is so much I would like to see on Malta with it’s fascinating history but definitely the highlight for me would be a visit to the blue grotto, it looks so beautiful, a natural wonder.

  21. I would love to return to Malta after more than twenty years. I loved Gozo and Comino. Lovely walks amongst history.

  22. I visited Malta about 7 years ago and I just loved the beauty of the place, as well as the friendliness of the amazing Maltese people.

  23. Never been but strikes me as a place where someone of my age can relax and chill while sampling its heritage, good food and maybe a tipple, or two.

  24. Went to Malta the day I finished my A levels with my mum. She is awesome and 88 this month. And my memories of a fleeting romance with a handsome local still linger. Malta has a warm and special place in my heart. Especially St Peter’s Pool! Note to self – go back again very soon!

  25. Malta is the setting of one of my favourite books – The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett. I’d love to see the places and learn about the history

  26. We have visited Malta several times and the highlight of our last visit for my husband was the biggest and tastiest rack of ribs he had ever eaten at one of the waterfront restaurants!

  27. My first flying visit (it was a port call on a cruise) to Malta was over 50 years ago & it’s been a few years since my last trip, staying in St Georges Bay & driving all over the island. I think my favourite place was Mdina, followed by Valletta, especially the cathedral.

  28. I’m fortunate enough to have been to visit Malta three times. Hard to pick a highlight as it is such a fascinating place but for me it was the old buses (now sadly – though sensibly in terms of air quality and safety! – mostly gone)

  29. Malta is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for several years. Now recovering from cancer I’d love to go there next year. The food looks amazing.

  30. Would love to visit Malta as my father was there as a child during part of WW2and always talked fondly of it. Would also like to see the Cathedral where my grandfather did some of the repair work to the carvings after the war.

  31. We visited in February and were lucky enough to see the carnival with the huge floats on lorries. Spectacular

  32. I’m interested in the history of the Knights of St John or Knights Hospitaller and would like to see some of their architecture that survives in Malta – churches, hostels, hospital, theatre, watch towers etc. I understand that there are many historic buildings in the Maltese islands so seeing some of them would be wonderful.

  33. Sitting by the great illuminated fountain in Valetta at night. Beautiful clear night sky and pleasantly warm. The most beautiful city of Valetta.

  34. Would love to visit. It’s an island full of history with an added splash of mystery. Mahy get there one day !!

  35. Enjoyed a trip to Malta & visited Gozo island too. stayed in Selima ( close to St Julians ). Bustling vibe and got to Valetta and the scenes therein. Lots of history relating to WWII . Maltese Cross et al.

  36. Would love to visit Malta again after 42 years, I am sure it is much changed so would love to see it again, thank you

  37. Wonderful climate, and inviting beaches, with a mixture of diverse cultures and history throughout the island…I must go to this Mediterranean gem!

  38. The highlight of my trip was my late father learning the word “manjana” and using it for everything and on everyone from then on. The idea of everything being “later/tomorrow” tickled him as at home life was rush rush rush!

  39. A visit to Malta for, sadly, only a couple of days for work was just not enough to sample the delights of the old world charm of Valletta. It is definitely on the bucket list for another visit, this time to really visit the town and get to see the rest of the island.

  40. We lived in Malta in the 60’s and l had my first child at the RN Hospital there. The people we met over the 3 years were so kind and so helpful. We have been back a few times but would love to go back again to find the small shop on Sliema water front that used to sell little pasties that were filled with mushy peas they were so delicious. I would love to find the recipe..maybe in this book?

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