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Pastizzi recipe, make your own Maltese traditional cheesecakes with ricotta or peas

Pastizzi is probably the most popular snack on the entire island. The traditional ricotta cheesecake is sold for a really cheap price in all the Pastizzerias across Malta and Gozo and is always warm as the high demand requires to bake them continuously during the day. The most common pastizzi are made with ricotta, but there are also two other varieties: one made with peas and onions and the other with anchovies. Your holiday in Malta won't be complete if you don't try at least one out!

Ingredients to make your own Pastizzi:

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

    14 oz ricotta
    4 eggs
    A pinch of salt

Don't worry, Pastizzi are not hard to prepare

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 shorteneing over the whole surface, using the hands. Roll up as for 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. The pastizzi may now be made into little tartlets in round tartlet cases or they may be cut in the same way as ravioli.

Bake in a hot oven (max) for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

View our list more tasty Maltese specialties such as rabbit  and fish soup!