Portuguese Red Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão)
The process for preparing this Portuguese condiment is long, but it is rewarding. In our recipe, the peppers take several days to cure, but the resulting paste is bright and intense. It is also is well-seasoned, so be judicious when adding salt to dishes that include it.
- 6 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1″ strips
- Large quantity kosher salt
- Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth and cover with 1⁄2” of kosher salt. Press 1 layer of pepper strips into the salt and cover with another 1⁄2” of salt. Continue layering the peppers with salt until all the strips are covered. Put a weight such as a cast-iron skillet directly on top, then place the colander over a large bowl. Refrigerate for five days. On the sixth day, remove the pepper strips and brush off all the salt (do not rinse). Purée in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.