Red Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão)

Photo Courtesy of Grafe e Faca

Massa de Pimentão is a classic Portuguese red pepper paste that is often used to season just about any ingredient with loads of flavor, most typically before roasting or grilling. As Massa de pimentão is most typically made at home, many have their own unique take on the recipe. Here is Fitta Wine’s wonderful take on Massa de Pimentão along with some red wine for added flavor.

Ingredients:
8 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons coarse salt
3 cloves of garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of Vinho Tinto (full bodied dry red wine)

Directions:
1) Wash peppers and remove the stems, seeds and white ribbing.
2) Cut the peppers into about 1 inch thick strips.
3) 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 and leave out at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
4) Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
5) Drain the peppers of any excess liquid. Put the peppers into a baking dish or tray to slow roast for 2 hours in the oven.
6) Remove the peppers and allow them to cool to room temperature.
7) Once cooled, remove the outside skin from the peppers.
8) Place the peeled pepper strips and peeled garlic cloves into a food processor or blender.
9) Blend the peppers for 30 seconds to make a thick paste, add in half the olive oil and Vinho Tinto and then blend again for another 30 seconds. Add the rest of the oil and Portuguese red wine to the pepper paste and blend for another minute until smooth.
10) Place in a sealed jar and refrigerate.

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