Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Casarecce alla maltese

Though I'm just at the start of my Maltese culinary adventures, one thing I have learned about very quickly is the ftira maltija - basically the Maltese sandwich. It's made with ftira, a crusty round bread unique to Malta (as far as I can tell), tomatoes, tuna, olives, and of course capers, which grow wild on the islands. I decided to turn the sandwich into a pasta dish, and the result was quite good, maybe even better than the sandwich!

I used casarecce because I happened to have a bunch on hand, but you could probably substitute almost any type of pasta here. I think both long and short types would work, so spaghetti, farfalle, maccheroni, whatever. The casarecce I used were whole wheat, which I think goes well in this dish, as there are a lot of strong, salty flavors.

Ingredients (per person):
75 g. whole wheat casarecce
1 small yellow onion
1 large clove of garlic
1 small can good-quality tuna
4 large green olives
A handful of fairly fresh capers
Crushed tomatoes/tomato pulp
Extra-virgin olive oil

First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it's heating up, prepare the other ingredients. Peel and chop the onion; crush the garlic, peel it, and then chop it up a bit into even smaller bits; and rinse the olives and capers. Crush the olives with the flat side of a knife to remove the pits and then chop them up. Drain the olive oil from the tuna and break it up a bit with a fork.

When the water is boiling, salt it, and add the casarecce, stirring them every so often to keep them from sticking. After a few minutes, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and when it's hot, add the garlic. After about 15 seconds, add the onion too. Once the onion has turned soft, add the olives, capers, tuna, and tomato pulp, and turn the heat down to low.

When the casarecce are al dente, drain them and add them to the sauce. Sprinkle with oregano and pepper, stir up, and serve warm. Especially serve warm if it's a gray, rainy day like it was here today - in Malta, there don't seem to be gutters, so just a bit of rain makes the streets get crazy flooded!!

1 comment:

camelia said...


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