4 strips bacon, cut into 1/4 inch slivers
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 t dried basil
2 t fresh thyme
black pepper
3 T tomato paste
1/2 t sugar
5 1/2 c water
3 c long grained rice
2 T fresh lime juice
1 c kidney beans (optional)

Cook the bacon in a large heavy pot over a medium heat until crispy. Add onion bell pepper, basil, thyme, salt, and teaspoon of black pepper and cook until onion is golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (don't let it burn!).

Stir in tomato paste and sugar and cook for approximately two more minutes.

Add water and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low add rice and limejuice and cover and return to a boil. Cook approximately for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. If rice is uncooked and dry you may need to add a few tablespoons of water.

Stir in kidney beans during the last three minutes of cooking. Remove pot from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Just before serving fluff rice and beans with fork and correct seasoning, adding salt and or black pepper as needed.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes