We were about to lose our minds up in here (up in here). After a fierce summer storm with high winds, we were without power for four long days. We lost everything in the fridge and in the freezer as we waited for MLG&W to get the power back up and running. Among the casualties were some of my sauces that I make in large batches and freeze: smoky BBQ sauce, spicy enchilada sauce, and a roasted vegetable & tomato sauce. A few of my friends are STILL without electricity. If you know people in that situation, please be nice and offer them a cold drink. They are not having a good time.
By Monday night we longed for a home-cooked meal. Something as simple as spaghetti with tomato sauce would do. So I fired up my outdoor grill and got to work. With a pot of water on the side burner starting to come to a boil, I placed all of the tomatoes I could round up straight onto the grill grates. I diced an onion and three cloves of garlic and threw them into a pan with a good bit of olive oil. I set the pan on the grill next to the tomatoes to allow the onion to sweat. Lantern in hand, I made my way to the garden to cut handfuls of fresh herbs to add to the pan: thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano. A handful of pasta was tossed into the boiling water, and the charred tomatoes were added to the pan and smashed along with a can of diced tomatoes. Once the pasta was cooked, I tossed the pasta with the sauce, topped it with bits of shaved parmesan, and served it right in the pan.
Because we were starved for a home-cooked meal, I was ready to dub it the best pasta I have ever tasted. It was good, but I'm not sure about all that. But I am sure that a little bit of innovation and thinking outside of the kitchen may have saved our sanity.