Peas and Rice

2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 small hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked pigeon or blackeyed peas
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
hot sauce

Heat oil in heavy pot. Cook onion, celery, and hot pepper for a few minutes until softened but not browned.

Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in peas, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add water and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat, and cook, covered, over low heat until rice is tender (about 20-25 minutes).

Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered for about 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with hot sauce.