Peel and slice the onion. Halve, deseed and finely shred the pepper. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, add the onion and pepper, cover with a pan lid, and fry gently for about 5 minutes until onion is soft but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes with juice and add the sugar, bay leaf and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, add the rice to a saucepan of boiling salted water. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well. Add the cooked rice to the tomato mixture and mix together. Turn into a greased casserole and cook, uncovered, in an oven heated to 350°F (180°C) or gas no. 4 for about 15 minutes, so that any excess liquid evaporates. Fluff the rice with a fork, check seasoning and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with fried chicken, chops, steaks, hamburgers or sausages.
© 1983 Katie Stewart estate. All rights reserved.