If I Had invented pasta salads I would hide. As it is, I am uncomfortable in recalling that it was after a recipe for pasta salad appeared in my preceding book, nearly a decade ago, that the item became a fixture of delicatessens and take-home food shops everywhere.
It is not the dish itself that is at fault. It is the use that has been made of it. Salads of homemade egg pasta, and particularly of any kind of stuffed pasta, are most of all abominable: only dry, factory pasta has the firmness required for salads. And any such salad that has first steeped in its condiments at the shop and is likely to steep hours more before it is consumed at home, one that has known the inside of one or more refrigerators before reaching the table, defeats the essence of pasta, which is immediacy of preparation and freshness of taste.
Here, for the record, is a version faithful to the original principles. The sauce is a zesty, lemon-accented mixture of roasted eggplant and roasted peppers. It would make, by itself, a savory appetizer, spread over grilled bread. As a condiment for pasta it works best with thin spaghetti, but could also be good with fusilli.
The eggplant and peppers mixture can be served on its own as a spread with drinks, or as an appetizer at table, or as a between-meals snack.
As the main course of a light summer lunch or as part of a buffet.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.