"Campanelle" means "little bell" in Italian, thus the name of this pasta because it is shaped like a little bell or flower ~ it is also known as gigli or riccioli and usually served with a thick sauce but I love it in hot or cool pasta salads as well.
This is one I like to make in summer with tomatoes right off the vine, and any other summer vegetables you like.
In winter I use sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and roasted red bell peppers from the jar. The constants are some sort of cheese, olives and toasted nuts.
When using the fresh tomatoes it pays to take a little time to discard the seeds. To do so I cut them in half (vertically; around the equator) then scoop the jelly and seeds out with my finger before dicing them. This makes for a much prettier and texturally appealing presentation.
This time, along with the diced tomatoes, I added slivered red onions, baby spinach leaves (it's nice to remove the tough stems from the spinach leaves), a few torn basil leaves .
The vinaigrette is so simple; for pasta salads I like to make my dressings a little more piquant ~ the pasta can handle it; a mild dressing just gets lost in the starch.
Good Vinegar, your choice; I usually use a Sherry Vinegar, White Balsamic, or aged White Wine Vinegar
A squeeze of lemon
Clove of garlic, minced
A little Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Red pepper flakes if you like it a bit spicier
Any fresh, minced herbs you like; I used thyme and oregano this time
Minced Italian parsley
Fresh basil leaves
Whisk all together, taste and adjust seasonings ~ it mellows as it ages so I always make it a little more acidic (extra vinegar and lemon juice) to compensate.
I just love this salad because it's so versatile ~ here are some additional suggestions:
Any sturdy pasta you like...
artichoke hearts, marinated
beans; cannellini, garbanzos, steamed green beans
bell peppers, any color; or peppers from the jar
grated or sliced carrots
other small cheese cubes
thawed frozen peas
grated, or sliced zucchini
Cooked chicken chunks
Leftover steak cubes
Pepperoni slices or cubes
Tuna, smoked salmon, other cooked fish; chunked
Paired with some crusty French or Italian bread, or grilled garlic bread it makes a delightful meal.
If you try it, I hope you love it.