Sweet Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão)
Massa de pimentão (pronounced “ mah-ssah de pea-meant-ow”) is a sweet yet salty pepper paste made from salt cured red bell peppers. It’s found throughout Portuguese cooking and is used as a base for sauces and stews, as a marinade for meats or fish and it is also used as a condiment.
If you’re planning on preserving this, leave the garlic out and just add fresh garlic each time you use the paste.
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- 6 large red bell peppers
- 2-3 tablespoons coarse salt
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup (295 ml) olive oil
1Wash peppers and remove the stems, seeds and white ribbing.
Cut the peppers into about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick strips.
Place a layer of pepper strips into the bottom of a bowl and generously sprinkle with salt.
Repeat with the rest of the pepper strips, salting in between each layer.
Cover tightly with a towel and leave out at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
2Some recipes suggest curing the peppers up to 6 days, but when you don’t have enough time, 12-24 hours is sufficient for good flavor.
3Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF (162ºC).
4Drain the peppers of excess liquid.
Put the peppers into an oven safe dish or on a baking tray to slow roast for 1 ½ to 2 hours in the oven.
Remove the peppers and cool to room temperature.
5Using your fingers, remove the outside skin from the peppers.
Place the peeled pepper strips and peeled garlic cloves into a food processor or blender.
If a food processor is unavailable, use a pestle and mortar or other tool to grind the peppers into a paste.
6Blend the peppers for 30 seconds to make a thick paste, add in half the olive oil and blend again for another 30 seconds.
Add the rest of the oil to the pepper paste and blend for another minute or until smooth.