Malta

Roasted Aubergine Parmigiana

When it comes time to cook something tasty, the first thing I have in mind is an aubergine. In Sicilian, we call it “milinciana” and we have plenty of choice of recipes depending on its shape and size.


Sometimes at work, we spend our lunch break together and my colleague had the idea to ask me and our foreigner coworkers if we wished to cook a dish of our country to share among us. I love cooking and instantly replied: <yes, of course!> but I thought, what could I cook at home and bring at work for a stand-up meal?

My mum has almost taught me all I know about cooking. But I rarely cook because as a good Sicilian I enjoy more doing it when there are a lot of people. I practised and improved during my university studies when me and some friends used to prepare a dinner once a month up to 20 people.
I brought at work two trays and nothing left, everybody loved it. To be honest, I spent 5 hours for the whole process because we were 38 people and I wanted to make sure everyone could try it. I had not minded cooking all that time. I much rather enjoyed the hour we chatted about our recipes and relaxed.
The following recipe would be for 4 people as the main course.

Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash and by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

To fill up a medium oven tray what you need is:

1/1.2 Kg= 4/5 aubergines
1 can chopped tomato
370 ml tomato sauce
200 gr chopped mozzarella
60/100 gr grated mix parmesan (60%) and pepato (40%) cheese
1 medium chopped onion (better red or gold)
5/6 tsp breadcrumbs
basil leaves, olive oil, salt

  1. Start peeling the aubergines, then slice them slightly less than 1 cm and grill. TIP: once ready, put the aubergines in a large dish and paint them just a bit with olive oil and salt. So later they will be still soft.
  2. In the meantime, you can chop the onion and in a pot put with some olive oil and heat it. Once the onion will be golden add the tomato (both types) and cover. Sometimes turn the sauce with a spoon. In 20 minutes it will be ready. Then add salt and full basil leaves.
    3.When all ingredients are more or less at room temperature heat the oven at 200C and take cheese and breadcrumbs. Prepare the oven dish (avoid a glass one):
  3. First, fill the dish with a scoop of tomato sauce and spread 1 or 2 spoons of breadcrumbs all over. After spreading homogeneously the aubergines, add some cheese (all types). Put again some tomato sauce and do like that till you will fill it all. TIP: breadcrumbs are useful on top and at the bottom of the dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and wait at least 30 min to serve.

Buon appetito!

What's new ?

Sciarpa collana a nodini di stoffa

Mi diverto tantissimo nell’annodare fili kilometrici di fettuccia con cui creo morbide sciarpe gioiello rifinite con un bottone o moschettone.

Sai cos’e’ la fettuccia? E’ una striscia di stoffa di cotone o di acrilico venduta in gomitoloni. Si tratta per lo piu’ di cimose, ovvero quelle bordure laterali delle stoffe che si scartano nelle industrie tessili e un genio (si secondo me lo e’) ha cominciato a riutilizzarle e diffonderne l’uso qualche anno fa. Si possono usare in mille modi sia con le proprie mani che con l’uncinetto. Si trovano sia in tinta unica che a stampa nelle mercerie. Di solito ogni gomitolo differisce un pochino dagli altri.

Generalmente per fare una sciarpa come questa qui sotto taglio quattro fili di 3,5/ 4 metri ciascuno. Li annodo uno ad uno, poi cucio a mano le estremita’ e rifinisco. La lunghezza finale dipende dallo spessore del tessuto e da quanto sia elasticizzato.

Collana rosso rubino e blu arabesque disponibile qui : https://www.etsy.com/it/MediterraneanArt/listing/733257943

Alcune fettucce sono sottili e leggere per cui preferisco fare una collana con molti fili, altre invece sono voluminose, come questa qui di seguito con due toni di rosa e rifinita con un bottone di cocco.

Collana rosa e ortensia diponibile qui: https://www.etsy.com/it/MediterraneanArt/listing/521982495

Accettiamo ordini personalizzati. Se hai visto un modello che ti piace ma lo vorresti di un altro colore, scrivici a: mediterraneanartcrafts@gmail.com o contattaci sui social media. Siamo su Etsy dal 2013 e qui ci sono alcune delle nostre ultime recensioni, di cui ne sono molto orgogliosa :


Malta

Learning languages

Learning a language has always attracted me but I believed it was secondary in my life plans. I have given priority to my specific studies and work career and never thought to move abroad. But life is incredibly changeable and it is better to grab new opportunities when they arise.

Looking back to my first days on the island of Malta years ago,I can remember how insecure I was in speaking another language for the first time in life. I must say that I studied English language and culture at school, nearly twenty years ago. What happened after that I rarely practised it until landing in Malta.

Having started a new job, all of a sudden I have realized to be able to speak English twelve hours a day.

During the first weeks I was mentally exhausted. I found out that changing language was very tiring because I was translating word for word from Italian. Slowly this kind of stress went down and I acquired more self-esteem.

Today I keep revising English, but after some time since landing on the island, I have come up with the idea to learn the other official language of this country. This is why I guess, Maltese clearly also derives from my native local language, Sicilian. I realized it just after listening to some people talking on television during a movie. The whole history, culture and folklore of the two islands are strongly connected. It would be obvious to notice when looking at a map, but when you are inside it, personal feelings and reactions are different. 

It has already been one year since I started learning the archipelago original language, that is a mixture of semitic languages coming mostly from North African Arabic, Italian and English. It is indeed quite complex for me to conjugate the verbs and some names as well, since there are quite as such irregularities, but I am confident I will be able to speak it. 

As in every language we want to learn, time is our friend. 

I attended an extensive course last year, about 90 lesson hours plus a short course where it was asked of me, as a writing exercise, to prepare some slides relating to my culture and origins. It is a bit complicated if you do not have a Maltese keyboard. 

In fact the Maltese alphabet is the only semitic language in Europe using the Latin alphabet, with some characteristics. They read ħ as for “hello”, while h is silent. Letter g is read as the word “great”, whereas ġ as the word “general”.

They also have two z, one with a dot on top and one without. Their ċ can be read as  “city”. Their particular letter is then pronounced “ain”. They consider it as a single consonant.

Comparing it with the English alphabet, I have encountered less difficulties in reading, apart from words containing the letter Q. Looking at its phonetic symbol: /ʔ/ it has a particular pronunciation.

I had to work on it, but now I am quite sure about pronouncing it quite well.