Tapas-Style Pasta Salad

Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in the word “pasta” you get “tapas”? If we had only thought of that sooner! We tossed one of our favorite pasta shapes with all of our favorite tapas bar ingredients—dried chorizo, salty Manchego cheese, and herby olives (you can find those at the olive bar at the supermarket)—but the best part is the fried almonds. This technique is a smart and fast way to toast nuts on the stove without waiting for the oven to preheat. But if you’re not up for frying you can substitute Marcona almonds.

tapas-style-pasta-salad
Photo by Greg DuPree
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  • Serves 4 (serving size: 1½ cups)
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Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in the word “pasta” you get “tapas”? If we had only thought of that sooner! We tossed one of our favorite pasta shapes with all of our favorite tapas bar ingredients—dried chorizo, salty Manchego cheese, and herby olives (you can find those at the olive bar at the supermarket)—but the best part is the fried almonds. This technique is a smart and fast way to toast nuts on the stove without waiting for the oven to preheat. But if you’re not up for frying you can substitute Marcona almonds.

Ingredients

  1. Check 8 ounces gemelli or other short pasta
  2. Check 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for pasta water
  3. Check ½ cup vegetable oil
  4. Check ½ cup blanched whole almonds
  5. Check ¼ cup sherry vinegar (such as Don Bruno)
  6. Check ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Check 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  8. Check ½ teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  9. Check 4 ounces Manchego cheese, broken into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  10. Check 3 ounces dry-cured Spanish chorizo, sliced ⅛-in. thick (about ¾ cup)
  11. Check ½ cup pitted herb-dressed olives, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water; drain and set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium; add almonds, and cook, stirring often, until golden and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
  3. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, anchovy paste, oregano, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add pasta, almonds, cheese, chorizo, and olives and toss to combine.