Monday, October 31, 2011

KICK START MONDAYS: Recipe - Home made pastizzi

Hello world,

First off, I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN... HAPPY SAMHAIN. I love this time of year, and this must be one of my favorite celebrations. I hope you're all enjoying it to the max!

This past week has been a bad one for me (flu) but a good one for writing - I finished chapters 1 to 7 in edits for An Eternity of Roses - finally another draft nearing its end! When I look at the first draft of this book I find it's barely recognizable. It has evolved so much, and this makes me happy.

Today, I wanted to take a bit of a break from writing and give you something different - a recipe. One of the things I love to do is cook. It's a pity that it doesn't rub off on other things I'm supposed to do around the house, such as doing laundry, ironing, and cleaning up, lol. While all those things are chores, cooking is a pleasure - at least it is when I have the time for it, which is not always the case :).

PASTIZZI are very typical, traditional Maltese savoury pies made with puff pastry or phyllo dough and filled with either a ricotta or pea mixture. There is a version of this in Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek cuisines. You can substitute phyllo dough or even regular pastry for the puff pastry, if you prefer. QASSATAT are similar pies, but in this case shortcrust pastry is used. The Maltese pastizzi one gets from the bars and restaurants here are quite fatty and the ones I make are a bit more figure friendly. Still carbs, and it's still pastry, but even if it saves 2 calories, it's better, right? Lol.

About a week ago I made some quick, home made ones at a party and they got snapped up pretty quick. My version had a twist on the original ones, which are a little more "plain" where the filling is concerned (ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper). One thing I didn't do is the dough from scratch.

HOME MADE PARTY-SIZE PASTIZZI (makes 24, serves 3 or 4)

---1 pack frozen, ready made puff pastry - make sure you have at least 2 sheets that you can cut in 12 rectangular portions per sheet.


---400g ricotta cheese (fresh is better - I used to get a pretty good quality cheese from Whole Foods).
---1 small package garlic and herb goat cheese (or garlic and herb cream cheese like Philadelphia. You can use the light or low-fat kind).
---2 eggs + 1 egg for sealing the dough
---2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Crack an egg in a small bowl and beat. Put a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each puff pastry square. Use pastry brush to brush sides of pastry with the egg wash. Pull each corner of the pastry up on to the filling and overlap so you get small parcel shapes. I chose this shape but feel free to experiment (e.g., a half-moon or triangle shape). Seal well. Repeat with each piece of pastry.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place ricotta parcels on a sheet of parchment/oven paper and bake until you see them turn golden (about 20 mins).

They taste great with a good side salad dressed with balsamic cream.

Hope you try them!

This Wednesday make sure to tune in for an interview with author Julia Smith.

Until next time, live well and love deeply!

~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love.

"Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.