Anyone who has set foot on Malta has probably eaten pastizzi tal-piżelli, a traditional Maltese street food of pea mash in puff pastry. They’re as delicious as they sound yet unfortunately they’re not always vegan. The pastry may contain lard, butter or non-vegan margarine while sometimes meat is added to the pea mixture and to top it off they’re glazed with egg wash. The only way to make sure the pastizzi you’re buying are vegan is to buy them frozen since ingredients will be listed on the packaging. Galea Pasteizzeria have vegan pea pastizzi in their cholesterol-free range.
We’re sharing a pastizzi tal-pizelli recipe so that you can enjoy these scrumptious little pastries anywhere in the world. They do take some preparation to get done but the hard work totally pay off!
Pastizzi tal-Piżelli (makes 20 to 30 pastizzi)
1kg shop bought vegan puff pastry
500g dried marrowfat peas
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
Vegetable stock cube or powder
100g onions, roughly chopped
100g carrots, grated
2 tsps curry powder
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Unsweetened soy milk
Soak the dried peas overnight with 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda, drain and rinse under running water. Boil peas in vegetable stock and then leave to simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours until very soft. Remove from water.
Fry the onions in vegetable oil until soft, then add carrots. To the cooked vegetables add the curry, salt pepper and peas, mix well and leave on low heat until a think mushy consistency has been produced. Leave to cool.
Preheat oven to 180oC. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into circles roughly 12cm in diameter. Place 3 tablespoons of cooled pea mixture on one half of the circle but not too close to the edge. Wash the edge of the half circle where the pea mixture is with unsweetened soy milk, fold the other half and seal the edges together.
Place pastizzi on oven tray and brush with unsweetened soy milk. Bake at a temperature of 180-200oC for 15 to 30 minutes until pastry looks golden (depending on oven). Serve warm.
If you love the mushy pea mixture but wish to reduce the fat intake replace the puff pastry with regular shortcrust pastry. Place the pea mixture onto the centre of the circle, possibly adding an extra tablespoon of mixture and form into a qassata by holding a section of the dough upwards and pressing the edge of the next section into the former and continue until you end up with something looking like the pastry underneath. Wash with unsweetened soy milk to hold. Bon apetit!