​​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.


    • 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.