In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the beef with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Saute the beef, in batches if necessary so that the pan is not crowded, until well-browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. Add the onion and green peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and caramelized around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, water, bay leaf, crushed red pepper and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Return the beef to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Add the ditalini to the gravy and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Add the parsley. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings