Creole Noodles

Yield: 4 servings

1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes, lightly drained (fresh, canned, or mixed)
2 cups sliced okra (or green beans), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 sprigs parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh hot pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or a few fresh leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (reduce if tomatoes are salted)
3 cups cooked noodles or whole wheat spirals or shells
2 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans, drained

Saut? onion and bell pepper in oil in a 3-quart pot for 5 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, okra or green beans, parsley, and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Add pasta and beans and simmer uncovered for several minutes.

NOTE: For 3 cups noodles, cooks 2 1/2 cups (5 ounces) pasta in boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until al dente. This can be done either in advance or while the sauce simmers.

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