This lively, fresh tomato sauce is wonderful served hot over fettuccine or cheese-filled tortellini. It is also good when chilled and combined with cold shrimp and pasta shells.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 green bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil and butter in a wide saucepan until the butter is melted. Add the green bell pepper and stir over medium heat until limp.
2. Add the tomatoes, water, vinegar, brown sugar, and honey. Bring to a gentle bubble and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced to a coarse purée. (Mash them against the side of the pan if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.)
3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cilantro. Cook for 5 minutes and spoon over hot, drained pasta. Or transfer to a bowl and refrigerate to serve chilled.