A LITTLE TASTE OF MALTA (HERE AT HOME)
ONE of my favourite things to do…
When I visit a different country or a far flung land, is to eat. Lots.
To eat all the local delicacies, to feast on new dishes, to try out new tasty morsels. Yes folks, I am a foodie. And a rather adventurous one too.
So when I was kindly sent a food hamper full of treats as part of Expedia’s World On A Plate campaign, well naturally I could not refuse!
We were sent a huge hamper of goodies from Malta and in return, I was asked to get creative in the kitchen and create a Maltese inspired feast.
I didn’t take much persuading. Here’s how I got on…
We were sent the most amazing trays of Maltese pasties known as ‘Pastizzi‘ -savoury snacks filled with ricotta cheese and spicy mushy peas and ‘Qassatat‘ – short crust pastry filled with tuna, spina and anchovy, so I decided to serve these as our entrees! (With a few additional side dishes of olives and sun dried tomatoes.)
I read that these pasties are traditionally eaten by Maltese workers on their way to work and I’m not surprised!
Incredibly tasty and very similar to our Cornish pasties, they went down a treat. Although be warned, if you ever try one, a little goes a long way. They are super filling!
I used the Maltese sausage and created a version of this ‘Tasty Sausage Casserole’ that I spotted on the BBC Good Food site. Easy to make and incredibly tasty, this casserole was absolutely delicious and probably one of the nicest meals I’ve cooked at homes in ages!
Here’s our version of the recipe if you fancy giving it a go…
- Maltese sausage
- Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 4 sundried tomatoes
- Small glass red wine
- jar of passata
- 1 Tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- handful chopped basil
- Gently fry the sausage in a large pan in the olive oil until cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove sausage and keep to one side. Now, in the same pan fry the onions and garlic untill softened. After 5 mins or so add the peppers and sundried tomatoes, cook for a further few mins then return the sausages to the pan.
- Turn the heat up high, add the red wine and cook for a few mins to reduce slightly.
- Add the passata, sugar, basil and paprika and simmer for half an hour.
- Season to taste if liked ( you won’t need much salt, if any, as the Maltese sausage is very salty!) and serve with your choice of accompaniment. (We went for simple roast potatoes).
I chose to let the Maltese sweet goodies speak for themselves and served up an array of Maltese biscuits with a pot of English tea.
They included Krustini Tal-Lewz (sweet biscuit with almonds), Buskutini Tal – Guglien (sweet biscuit with sesame seeds), Buskutini Tal – Rahal (sweet biscuit with aniseed) and Qaghaq Ta L – Ghasel (traditional honey rings with black treacle and orange peel).
The honey rings – a Maltese Christmas treat – were our favourites and perfect for this time of year. (The almond biscuits were also incredible! If you ever go to Malta, make sure you buy some to pop in your suitcase from when you get home!)
All in all, it was one delicious family feast and certainly brought a touch of the exotic to our usual Sunday lunch.
Many thanks to Expedia for our fabulous ‘Malta’ hamper! Have you ever tried any Maltese dishes?