​​Spanish-Style Pasta Salad with Tuna and Marinated Tomatoes


Spanish pantry staples like mildly spicy and sweet piparra peppers and tangy sherry vinegar bring bold flavor to this hearty pasta salad from 2015 F&W Best New Chef Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville, North Carolina.  "I love this pasta salad because it incorporates fresh summer ingredients, like tomatoes and herbs, with staples I already have on hand in the pantry, including imported Spanish tuna and pasta," says Button. "It's a perfect low-cook dish that you can make ahead in large batches and eat on for lunches and dinners all week; it keeps getting better with time. This is a go-to salad in my house, and when I pack it for a picnic or a hike, it feels like I've won. It's hearty and easy to make, and my kids love it, too." Feel free to riff with what's on hand in your own cupboard; Button likes adding artichokes or hearts of palm and swapping in boquerones (white Spanish anchovies) for the tuna.

Spanish-Style Pasta Salad with Tuna and Marinated Tomatoes
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 ½ pounds small tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste

  • 1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more to taste

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 3 quarts water

  • 8 ounces uncooked lumaconi, conchiglie, or galet pasta

  • 3 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled

  • 1 (4-ounce) can solid white tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked

  • ½ cup pitted black olives (preferably Empeltre olives)

  • 10 jarred piparra peppers (from 1 [6.4-oz.] jar), quartered lengthwise (or 1/4 cup drained capers)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish


  1. Toss together tomatoes, oil, vinegar, garlic, and 11/2 teaspoons salt in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. (The longer the tomatoes marinate, the better the flavor will be.)

  2. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high; stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons salt. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process until pasta is cool to the touch.

  3. Cut eggs into eighths by slicing them in half lengthwise and then cutting each half in half crosswise and lengthwise. Add eggs, tuna, olives, peppers, parsley, tarragon, and cooked pasta to tomato mixture in bowl; gently toss to combine. Adjust seasonings with additional olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste.

  4. Transfer salad to a large bowl or platter. Garnish with additional parsley and tarragon, and serve.

Make Ahead

Tomatoes may be marinated up to 8 hours in advance. Pasta salad may be kept chilled up to 3 days.


Piparra peppers may be found at curateathome.com.

Suggested Pairing

Fruity Spanish rosé: Bodegas Muga Rosado

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