Healthy and hearty, this traditional Maltese pie is a delight to cook. Author of 11 Maltese cookbooks, Karmen Tedesco shares her recipe for this rustic and hearty pie. You can easily adapt the recipe to make it vegetarian by simpy omitting the anchovies and tuna.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (31 votes)


  • 400 g plain flour
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 150 ml water

Pie filling

  • 1 kg pumpkin, chopped into small cubes
  • 150 ml water
  • 150 g rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g chopped onions
  • 12 black olives, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint
  • 4 anchovy fillets (or sundried tomatoes)
  • 180 g canned tuna, drained

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need a 30 cm pie dish for this recipe. 

To make the pastry, in a large bowl, rub the oil into the flour, adding the water in small amounts until the flour mix is solid and mouldable.

In a large saucepan, add the pumpkin, water and rice, and cook over a moderate heat, until it boils. Lower the temperature slightly and simmer for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the oil and cook the onion, until soft. Add the olives, mint, anchovy fillets and tuna. Mix and cook for a further 2 minutes. If needed, you can add a little water to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

Set aside the onion mix and allow to cool. Once cool, mix this in with the pumpkin and rice mixture.

Take two-thirds of the pastry, and start rolling the pastry to the size of a 30 cm pie dish. Line the pie dish with the pastry.

Spread the pumpkin and rice mixture on top of the pastry and cover with the rest of the pastry. Seal the edges and make a couple of slits on the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool slightly before serving with a salad.