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Massa de Pimentão ❦ Portuguese Red Pepper Paste

This delicious paste is used as a marinade for meat in Portugal. Most commonly with pork, but is also delicious to amp up tomato-based sauces, grilled fish, and vegetables. It is very salty so go in with a light hand, a little goes a long way. You can add garlic and lemon juice or vinegar. It is fantastic for grilled chicken.

It is made with red bell peppers and salt. All you need is a few days and you will be rewarded with a gorgeous paste. Will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Throw some in an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop a cube into any tomato-based sauce for an instant flavour boost. It is the star ingredient for my delicious recipe for Portuguese Pork and Clams ❦ Carne De Porco à Alentejana.


Massa de Pimentão ❦ Portuguese Red Pepper Paste

5-6 days drying time

2 minutes to make

Keeps for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator


6 Red bell peppers, I used a pointy variety

2 Garlic cloves, optional

1/2 Lemon, juice only, optional

Coarse sea salt, as needed to cover peppers

Coffee filter or cheesecloth, useful, but not essential

1. Wash and core peppers, remove any white pith from inside of peppers, it's bitter. Cut peppers into strips.

2. Line a colander with coffee filters or cheesecloth and place the colander in a bowl.

3. Start with a layer of salt. Alternate peppers and salt, making sure peppers are covered very well. Finish with a layer of salt.

4. Cover with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or simply a plate.

5. Leave at room temperature for 5-6 days.

6. After 5-6 days, rinse and place peppers into a food processor.

If using, add garlic and lemon juice and purée until smooth.

Place into a clean sterilized jar/ container, cover with extra virgin olive oil, seal closed and refrigerate.

Enjoy