Sides and Salads
Method: StovetopJump to Recipe
This quick and easy pasta salad is a fusion of Italian and Spanish flavors. It also holds the distinction of being the only pasta salad recipe I have ever been able to get both my wife and kids to eat, as none of them typically like the traditional pasta or potato salads. We really love the flavors in this Spanish inspired Pasta Salad and the colors really pop, making it as beautiful as it is tasty.
Making the Spanish Inspired Pasta Salad
This pasta salad comes together in under 20 minutes (plus some hands off time in the fridge for the flavors to meld), half of which is boiling the noodles. If you can boil water, you can make this pasta salad.
Prep your ingredients
While you are bringing your water to a boil, prep your ingredients. For this recipe you will need olives, grape tomatoes, Spanish style dry Chorizo, mozzarella pearls, bell pepper, red onion, and sundried tomatoes. You will also need Manchego cheese and Italian dressing.
Halve the tomatoes and dice the olives, bell pepper, and red onions. We love to use Castelvetrano olives, but feel free to use your favorite.
We also love using striped bell peppers, sometimes called Enjoya peppers, due to their vibrant color. They are becoming more available in the US now, and we have even seen them at Costco recently. If you can't find this variety feel free to use red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, or a mixture of them.
For this recipe you will need ¼ cup of dried Spanish style chorizo. This adds a great salty, smoky aspect to the Spanish Inspired Pasta Salad. Many delis and grocery stores carry this, and it is also almost always available at World Market. Please be sure you are using the dried salami type chorizo and not the loose meat, raw, Mexican style chorizo.
Cook the pasta
You will need 8 ounces of multi-color pasta for the Spanish Inspired Pasta Salad. Use a pasta with grooves and crevices to catch all of the flavors. We prefer using conchiglie, orecchiette or fusilli. The recipe is also easily doubled if you wish to use the entire package of noodles or are cooking for a crowd.
Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles per the package instructions, removing from the heat about 1 minute before the recommended time for al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
Add the cooled pasta to a bowl and mix in the Italian dressing, stirring to mix well, then add in all of the other ingredients. Stir or shake to combine. Cover and place the pasta salad in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.
Serve with your favorite summer time picnic food or grilled or BBQ meat such as Ultimate American Cheeseburger, Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, or Australian Sausage Sizzle with Homemade Ketchup.
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Spanish Inspired Pasta Salad
- 8 Ounces Tri Color Pasta
- ½ Cup Italian Dressing
- ½ Cup Green Olives diced
- ½ Cup Grape Tomatoes halved
- ½ Cup Red Onion diced
- ½ Cup Bell Pepper diced
- ½ Cup Mozzarella Pearls
- ¼ Cup Dried Spanish Chorizo diced
- ¼ Cup Manchego Cheese shredded
- ¼ Cup Peppadew Peppers diced
- 1 Tab Sundried Tomatoes
- Prep all ingredients and bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Boil the pasta according to the package instructions but remove from heat 1 minute before the time indicated for al dente. Rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.
- Toss the pasta in the Italian dressing then mix in all of the other ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
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