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
A salty snack-lovers dream come true, this easy pasta salad combines savory dried chorizo, salty herb-dressed olives, and Manchego, one of our all time favorite snacking cheeses. The dressing calls for a bit of anchovy paste—not enough to really taste it, but just enough to give it some oomph. If you’re super anchovy-averse you can skip it, just give the salad a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Get the recipe:Tapas-Style Pasta Salad. Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1½ cups)


  • 8 ounces gemelli or other short pasta

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for pasta water

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup blanched whole almonds

  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar (such as Don Bruno)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste

  • ½ teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese, broken into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

  • 3 ounces dry-cured Spanish chorizo, sliced ⅛-in. thick (about ¾ cup)

  • ½ cup pitted herb-dressed olives, roughly chopped


  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.

Related Articles