Description

My favourite Maltese dish. You can use puff or short crust pastry if short on time. Also, if you wish add a few handfuls of raisins to bring out the flavours of the pie. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 400 grams flour sifted
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 70 grams butter
  • For the filling:
  • 1.6 kilogram large diced red pumpkin (about 2 cm x 1 cm)
  • 3 small leeks (550 grams) sliced medium thickness
  • 1 small onion very finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 115 grams fresh salted tuna (as an alternative use 1 medium can tuna in oil and 5 anchovies chopped) sliced and chopped in small pieces
  • 300 grams rice par boiled for 8 minutes
  • 20 pitted black kalamata olives (or Maltese olives if you can get them)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Small bunches of mint, parsley, oregano, margoram (we used dried) and basil. Chopped
  • a few handfuls of raisins or sultanas (optional)
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough the night before you make the pie.
  2. In a dough mixer or by hand mix the sifted flour, salt and water to create a soft dough ball.
  3. Once the dough has formed or close to it, take out of the mixer.
  4. Knead for about 15 minutes until the dough is quite soft. You do not want a wet dough but more of a dry soft dough.
  5. Place in the fridge overnight wrapped in plastic wrap.
  6. Prepare all your ingredients for the filling and leave to the side for a moment.
  7. Obtain your dough from the fridge and on a table lightly grease with some of your butter.
  8. Roll the dough on the table to make it very thin.
  9. Spread all of the butter over the dough except for a little to spread on the dough once rolled out again.
  10. Now slowly roll the dough to form a swiss roll (refer to image) but when rolling stretch the dough as you go along.
  11. Once you have created your pastry 'swiss roll' or long 'sausage' cut in two pieces in the ration of 4:5.
  12. Roll the long sausages to form a snail shell (refer to image).
  13. The next step is to roll each dough piece out again on the table but not as thin as above. One of the dough pieces should be enough to cover the base and sides of a large dish, and the other dough piece should be enough to cover the top of the dish once the filling is added.
  14. Place the larger piece of dough in a large dish (it should cover the base and sides of the dish). Prick the dough several times with a fork.
  15. Fry the onion, leek and garlic for about five to ten minutes on medium heat until soft and tender.
  16. While this is happening par boil the rice for 8 minutes.
  17. In the pan with the onion and other ingredients add in the herbs and pumpkin and fry for about fifteen minutes.
  18. Now add in the other ingredients - olives, capers, salted tuna (canned tuna and anchovies if you don't have salted tuna) and raisins or saltanas (optional). Cook for a further five minutes.
  19. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  20. Turn the heat off from the frying pan and add in the rice and mix into the mixture. Season with pepper. Only season with salt if you have not used fresh home made salted tuna (the fresh tuna can be quite salty).
  21. Add all the mixture into the dish where you have already put the pastry base.
  22. If you feel it needs a little more oil then sprinkle a few tablespoons of oil in the mixture.
  23. Cover with the remaining pastry. Make sure to put two holes on either side of the dish to let the steam come out while cooking in the oven. Prick the top of the pie with a fork also.
  24. Place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. If the top of the pie has not become golden then turn the heat up to 200oC and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes if necessary.