Each month we will be bringing you a recipe from one of our chefs in collaboration with the National Register for Traditional Agro-food Products co-ordinated by the Agriculture Directorate.
In 2014, the Directorate issued a legal notice to setup a register to gather and populate within it agricultural and agro-food products as well as gastronomic recipes. This was done in order to recognise such products in an official manner as truly traditional. Up to this date in Malta we never had a framework or setup to distinguish traditional products from other contemporary food items and products.
In order for a traditional product to be classified as such, the processing, preservation and ageing methods used to make that product or gastronomic plate need to be consolidated in time and have proven usage on the Maltese market or culture for a period that allows transmission between generations. This period shall be no less that twenty-five years. This means that if individuals have a recipe or a product which has been in cultivation or in production for a period no less than 25 years, then these products are eligible to be included in the register.
August Recipe brought to you by Joseph Mercieca, Chef Patron of Country Terrace in Gozo
Qassatat tal-irkotta: “Ricotta pies”
This recipe makes around 6 Ricotta pies.
Ingredients for the pastry:
- 400g flour
- 200g margarine
- 1tbsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 250g ricotta
- 1 egg
And one beaten egg to brush the ricotta pies
To prepare the pastry, mix the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Then add the margarine until achieving a breadcrumbs consistency. Add a little bit of water to bind the pastry. For the filling, mix the ricotta with the egg.
Roll out the pastry into 18cm diameter circles. Put some ricotta filling on the pastry circles and brush the pastry edges with a beaten egg. Then pull and combine the edges of the pastry to create the traditional look of the Maltese qassatat. Brush the qassatat with a beaten egg and cook them for approximately 20 minutes until they are golden brown.