Massa Malagueta (Hot Pepper Sauce/Paste)


This is my last recipe for The Five Marias, and this recipe from my grandma, Teodora!  The funny thing is that this should have actually been my first recipe.  Malagueta is a sort of hot pepper paste/sauce that is used throughout so many of the recipes I’ve made, but I just substituted another popular Portuguese hot sauce, “Piri Piri,” with it.  Either works, but if you have malagueta handy, it’s so good and does just the trick when a recipe calls for a hot sauce.

I hope you all have enjoyed riding along with me on this journey!  It’s not an end, though, as I plan to make more recipes and even create my own, with the Five Marias as inspiration!


Yields: 2 8.5-ounce mason jars



6 red bell peppers, roughly chopped

4 red hot chili peppers, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons salt

1 cup water

Crushed red pepper flakes

8.5 ounce mason jars, sterilized

Note: Unopened, malagueta can last up to one year in a dry, room-temperature space.  Opened, place in the refrigerator, and it can last up to 3 months.


1)  Wash and chop peppers, but leave some or most of the seeds.  Add peppers and salt to a food processor and pulse until no chunks remain.

2) In a large pot or Dutch Oven, add water and pulsed peppers.  Add red pepper flakes as desired to your liking for spiciness.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer sauce for 45 minutes.  Half way into the cooking time, add additional water if needed.  No or little water should remain when done cooking.

3) Separately, place mason jars upside down in a large pot of water.  Bring to a boil to sterilize the jars.  When cooled, remove jars, add in the pepper mixture, and seal jar tightly. Store in a dry and room-temperature area until ready to use.