Hot pepper paste

Hot pepper paste

Pimenta moida

By
From
Lisbon
Makes
1 medium jar
Photographer
Steven Joyce

I love serving this fiery, salty pepper paste with delicate wobbly fresh cheese, smearing both onto pieces of crusty bread. This sauce is particularly popular in the Azores, an archipelago of gorgeous islands in the middle of the Atlantic.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 red peppers, halved, ribs and seeds removed, and chopped
5 piri piri or bird’s eye chillies, seeded
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, (optional)

Method

  1. Thoroughly clean a heatproof jar (including the lid) in hot soapy water, then place the jar in a low oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the peppers and chillies in a blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil. Blitz to form a fairly smooth purée.
  3. Heat a medium non-reactive saucepan over a medium heat and tip in the pepper mixture along with the salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 6–7 minutes, stirring more or less constantly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the paste has reduced and is the consistency of pulpy ketchup. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and the remaining oil.
  4. Taste – the paste should have a warm, spicy heat. If it’s too mild, stir through the chilli powder and taste again.
  5. While still hot, pour the paste into the clean jar. Seal with the lid and allow to cool. It should last for a couple of weeks in the fridge (covering the paste with a thin layer of olive oil will help it keep longer).
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