Nostrana’s Pasta Salad

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Forget the traditional pasta salad consisting of over-cooked noodles drowning in mayo with chunks of processed ham and a sliver of something resembling a vegetable. This is super simple, has no mayo and uses eggplant. Pasta made from semolina or durum wheat is preferable. This makes enough to feed a party of eight and can be easily cut in half, if desired.

  • 4 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 green onion bulbs, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 pound dried penne, bowtie, or corkscrew pasta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley and/or fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In an extra-large mixing bowl, toss the bell peppers, eggplants, and onion with 1/4 cup of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Spread out on 2 baking sheets and roast in the center and lower racks of the oven until lightly charred, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente (which is preferred). Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to an extra-large salad bowl and toss immediately with the remaining 1/4 cup oil.
  4. Add the roasted vegetables, Parmesan, olives, parsley or basil, lemon juice, black pepper, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt to the salad bowl and toss well. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky