12 oz. crushed tomatoes (probably half a can)
2-3 red bell peppers, seeded & sliced
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 tblsp. butter
1/4 c. chicken broth
3-4 tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. half-and-half
Salt & pepper
Fresh basil (optional)
1/4 lb. prosciutto (optional)
Pasta (Sturier types of dried pasta is great. Gemelli are particularly good!)
Saute the onion in olive oil and butter until it's translucent, then add the sliced pepper and continue to cook until limp. (That is, until the pepper is limp. You should still be sprightly.)
Add the crushed tomato, chicken broth, 2 or 3 basil leaves, and the sliced mushrooms. Continue to cook for 45-60 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
Puree the pasta sauce in a blender until it's smooth. While the blender is on, add the grated Parmesan cheese and half-and-half. The sauce can be prepared ahead up to this point.
If you're using the optional prosciutto, cut it into thick strips and saute it in a dab of olive oil until it's lightly crisp.
Prepare the pasta. Ladle the sauce on each plate-full of pasta, and decorate the dish with a basil leaf and prosciutto (optional).
This will serve 10-15 appetizer-size pasta plates fewer if used as a main course. Leftover sauce freezes well.