October is the perfect month for indulging in some proper Maltese comfort food (well, any time of the year is a good time to talk indulgence, but we’re using autumn cosiness as a little excuse today). As any proud Maltese person will tell you, there’s nothing quite like digging in to a hot plate of grandma’s bragioli after a long day, or if it’s raining and cold outside.
Bragioli are basically beef rolls, or more specifically, well-seasoned mince meat wrapped in more meat and served with a satisfying red wine and tomato sauce. Yum – you’re going to want to wear your Joey Tribbiani comfy pants for this one.
Love pasta? Of course you do. Enjoy biting into a piping hot piece of pie? Well, duh. How about a traditional Maltese pasta-pie, with a meat and tomato sauce and more carbs than you care to think about? Timpana is a typical Maltese dish made with rigatoni mixed into a bolognese-style meat sauce, and packed into a beautiful, flaky crust.
3. Ross il-Forn
While we’re on the topic of pasta-based goodness, we need to say a few words about Ross il-Forn. This one is a rice dish made with a similar sauce to the one in Timpana, but topped with a golden layer of cheese on top.
This is Malta’s answer to the classic chicken noodle soup! Hearty, healthy, and the perfect remedy to most of life’s woes, brodu is all you need on a quiet afternoon. Every household has its own way of making this chicken soup, so things might look a little different from one bowl to another!
Two words: Rabbit. Stew. The perfect rabbit stew is left to simmer for a while in a robust sauce made with carrots, potatoes, herbs, and a generous splash of red wine, to name just a few of the main ingredients. Oh, and it’s particularly tasty if you eat it with spaghetti.
You can enjoy kapunata all year around, but there’s something particularly special about this vegetarian dish when the weather cools down. You can eat kapunata warm or cold, but one thing you definitely need to have on your table is a fresh loaf of Maltese bread to eat it with.