Antipasto pasta salad has been a summer staple at many cookouts and potluck gatherings, but it's time to cross the Mediterranean and try a new pasta combination. Tapas pasta, inspired by the bold flavors of appetizers found at Spanish bars and cafes, is a pull-together meal that works both as a hot entrée or cold pasta salad. With chunks of smoky chorizo sausage, garlicky shrimp, sweet roasted peppers, and briny olives, it's a tapas buffet in every bite.
Dried chorizo sausage is typically found with other hard salamis near the deli or meat counter at the market, but if you can't find any at your local store, substitute spicy Italian soppressata.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Toss the shrimp with the garlic and olive oil in an 8- or 9-inch square casserole dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring once, just until the shrimp is cooked through.
While the shrimp cook, bring a large (4-6 quart) pot of water to a boil. Add the salt to dissolve, then add the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Toss the pasta with the shrimp, garlic, and olive oil in a large bowl, making sure to scrape all the garlic-infused oil into the bowl with a spatula. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons if the pasta is still dry.
Stir in the chorizo, red peppers, olives, and black pepper.
Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate until chilled for a cold pasta salad. Garnish with parsley if desired before serving.