Butter a large baking dish (about 2 1/2 to 3 quarts in size).
Prepare the vegetables. Peel the onion and chop it finely. Chop the celery. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper and chop it finely.
In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp; remove the bacon to paper towels to drain; crumble and set aside.
In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, saute the chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper until just softened.
To the skillet, add the rice, the pureed tomatoes, the drained crumbled bacon, half of the salt, pepper, sugar, and hot sauce.
Bring the rice and vegetables to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake the rice in the preheated oven for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Check the rice after about 30 minutes and add water or stock, if necessary to keep the rice moist.