I have been eating pastizzi my whole life. To say I love them is a HUGE understatement. But while I may be a chef with Maltese heritage, I have to admit I’m probably the world’s worst pastizzi maker, and when I cooked them on my spice journey it was my first proper attempt. What I discovered, though, like with most things, with a little practice and patience, you will get them right.
I’m a simple guy who has always stuck to the classic ricotta filling, but every now and then when I know the spicing is right and I’m in the mood I’ll venture over to the other side and snack on a few pea pastizzi. So this recipe is me pushing the boundaries a little with this classic, and I love the way it’s turned out. The pork and pea mix has a great taste and texture, and the introduction of the mustard mayo is the bomb!
Pastizzi freeze really well. This recipe makes a large quantity, but as the process is quite fiddly, it’s a good idea to make a large batch, so set aside enough time and get some helpers.
PORK AND PEA FILLING
Combine the spices, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and garlic using a mortar and pestle to make a paste. Rub the pork shoulder with the paste, then cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3).
Place the pork in a flameproof casserole dish, cover with water, cover the dish with foil and slowly cook in the oven for 4-6 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart. Remove the pork from the dish and set aside to cool. Place the dish over high heat, bring the braising liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes to make a thick sauce.
When the pork is cool enough to handle, flake the pork and pull it apart. Add to the thickened sauce along with the peas. Finish with the chopped mint, dried mint and almonds.
To make the pastizzi dough, using an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, salt and 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) of water at a moderate speed for 6-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and comes away cleanly from the side of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel (dish towel) and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Alternatively, this dough can be mixed by hand. It will take about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and flatten the dough with a rolling pin until 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick, then smear liberally with some of the softened butter. Roll the dough into a log 10 cm (4 inch) thick and then wrap into a coil shape. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to soften a little. Cut the
coil into quarters. Stretch each piece of dough into a long rectangle. Smear softened butter over the surface of each piece, roll each piece into a log 10 cm (4 inch) thick, then cut into ten portions roughly 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick to make
To make the pastizzi, hold a pastry portion flattened out over your thumb and index finger. Insert a tablespoon of pork and pea filling then, in one swift motion, fold over the filling to encase it, and then flick back the other way and pinch the edges. Repeat this process until the filling and pastry are finished.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Line three large baking trays with
Place the pastizzi on the prepared trays and cook for 6-8 minutes until the pastizzi are golden.
Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Serve the pastizzi hot with the mustard mayonnaise.
Note: It is a good idea to start this recipe one day ahead.