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Tapas Pasta: Pasta with a Spanish Twist

Try tapas pasta for pasta with a twist
Casey Barber
Cook Time:
25 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
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Chef notes

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.



  • 16 large shrimp (about 1/2 pound of 31/35 count shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1 large garlic clove, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) rigatoni or other chunky pasta
  • 1 cup (about 3 ounces) diced dried chorizo
  • 1 cup sliced roasted red peppers (about 2 whole roasted peppers)
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted large green olives like Castelvetrano (about 8-10 olives)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Minced parsley for garnish (optional)


Eat pasta, tapas-style
Casey Barber

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.

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