Maltese pork and sausage stew is a traditional Maltese recipe. It is delicious and filling with a slightly spicy flavour.
I love a good cookery challenge and when Expedia got in touch and asked me if I wanted to take part in their world on a plate challenge I was happy to get involved. I was given a country and asked to try and make a dish from that country.
To help in the challenge I was sent a box of typical food from the country and a shopping voucher. I then needed to find and make a traditional recipe that typified food from that country. The country I was given was Malta, an island in the Mediterranean sea just south of Italy. I have never visited Malta so had no idea what sort of food was traditional to the island.
Malta is apparently a lovely place to visit. It has the Mediterranean sun and sea, with many a hidden cove to be found amongst cliffs. The island is tragically placed in the middle of the Mediterranean and as a result was often fought over. Majestic fortress like towns on hilltops are common place. Prehistoric sites also abound.
The pace of life is slower and the people welcoming, it must be like travelling back in time. Traditional Maltese food is a mix of Sicilian and Middle Eastern flavours. Local ingredients like rabbit and honey are used and these vary with the season.
Look out for Lampuki (fish pie), Kapunata ( a Maltese version of ratauoille) and pastizzi (flaky pastry filled with ricotta or mushy peas). There are also dessert delicacies like kannoli (tubes of crsipy pastry filled with ricotta), which always make me think of the quote from the Godfather, “Leave the gun, take the kannoli”.
In the box I found a selection of sweet biscuits traditional to Malta. These included Qaghal Ta L’Ghasel or traditional honey rings which are served as a Christmas treat, Buskutina Tal-Rahal and Buskutina Tal-Gulglien – sweet biscuits with either sesame seeds or aniseed and several others. These were all delicious as well as unique to the island.
I also had a number of other ingredients in the box one of which was some traditional Maltese sausages or zalzetta tal-malti. The sausage is full of flavour and garlic. I decided to use it to make a Maltese pork and sausage stew. Outside the weather was howling gales and lashing rain and I thought this would make an ideal winter warmer. I served the Maltese pork and sausage stew with traditional Maltese bread, which is really tasty.
The Maltese pork and sausage stew turned out to be delicious. The sauce had a slight spicy flavour that worked really well with the garlic flavour of the sausage. The vegetables in the stew made it lovely and filling, the perfect meal for a winter day. It was really easy to make as well, just all simmered in a pan until it was ready then served in a bowl with some bread. Definitely perfect comfort food.