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.

Portuguese Red Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão) Portuguese Red Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão)
This Portuguese salted bell pepper paste lends a vibrant color and flavor to rustic dishes—use it as a seasoning for steamed rice or roasted potatoes.
Yield: makes 1 1/2 CUPS


  • 6 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1″ strips
  • Large quantity kosher salt


  1. Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth and cover with 12” of kosher salt. Press 1 layer of pepper strips into the salt and cover with another 12” 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.