Malta is an island nation comprising an archipelago of seven islands in the Mediterranean. The national language is Maltese, a unique melding of Arabic and Sicilian/Italian, but English and Italian are spoken frequently. Though small, Malta has a long and rich history, with evidence of habitation going back to the Neolithic era (4th millennium BC). It boasts some of the world’s most ancient standing buildings and megalithic temples. It is one of the most Catholic nations in the world (98% of the population) and has the highest rate of church attendance in Europe. Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964 and became a Republic 10 years later. It joined the European Union in 2004.
Maltese cuisine may not be as well known as other Mediterranean cuisines, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as delicious. Try this tasty rice recipe and see for yourself!
Savory baked rice
1/2 lb (1 cup) rice
1/2 cup lard or butter
1/2 lb ground beef or pork
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Wash the rice thoroughly. Brown the ground meat. Dilute 3 tbsp of tomato paste with 2 tbsp hot water and add to meat. Let simmer while you beat the eggs and grate the cheese.
Grease a casserole dish. Mix rice with meat sauce, add the beaten eggs and mix in grated cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until rice is mixed in well.
Add enough water to cover completely – stir again. Bake in a 400 degree oven, stirring occasionally, until rice is a golden-brown.