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:
- 14 oz flour
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Make the filling. Mash the ricotta with a fork, add the salt and the unbeaten eggs.
- 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.
- 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.