Mediterranean-Style Campanelle Salad

"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.
Here's the general recipe I follow~ this is just a suggestion; if you have a favorite vinaigrette by all means use it instead!

Olive oil
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
celery slices
other small cheese cubes
green onions
thawed frozen peas
sliced pepperoncini
grated, or sliced zucchini

Meats, etc:

Cooked chicken chunks
Leftover steak cubes
Ham cubes
Pepperoni slices or cubes
Salami cubes
Cooked prawns
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.


  1. What a gorgeous summer meal. I enjoy making this same type of thing, I love your variation ideas. Hubby will moan when I tell him I need blue bowls to make it perfect :- )

  2. this is one of my favorite pasta shapes! I love all your ideas for making a beautiful salad. It's cool enough outside now to wear a little sweater, but tomorrow it's going to be very I think pasta salad will be on the menu. I hope mine is as appealing as yours!

  3. How appropriate. We are having this today with the same pasta, grape tomatoes,fresh mozzarella and a white balsamic vinaigrette.

  4. Monique, you are the Queen when it comes to finding interesting pastas ~ I loved that beautiful, colorful ribbon pasta you shared recently. :)

    Thank you Valerie! Yes, you must convince hubby that BLUE dishes make all the difference in the recipe..hee hee!

    Audrey, hasn't this weather been odd? (On this side of the country, too.) Are you kidding me? Your version will be gorgeous ~ I always am wowwed by your photos.

    Susan~ how FUN that you are making the same thing, pasta shape and all. I adore the clean fresh taste of mozzarella, and with White Balsamic vinagrette--- absolutely delightful!

    Thank you ladies for stopping by and leaving comments! I love to hear from you. xo

  5. Great recipe -- with those photos, I can practically taste it. And yes, I think blue plates must be the primary ingredient.

  6. Mary that plate of food is just one of them most beautiful things i have ever seen...gorgeous colors!

  7. Your beautiful salad is all about summer. I finally have ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. Into a salad they will go. The pine nuts are a perfect addition.

  8. gorgeous! and where did you get those plates?

  9. I recently found this pasta and just loving cooking with it. Beautiful dish, Mari. It's summer on a plate. Yum!

  10. Too beautiful to eat, actually! ;) What a stunning looking salad! Wow.

  11. Wow! What a delicious looking the idea of removing the seeds. Your pics are stunning!

  12. Delicious ingredients, and vibrant colors! What a pasta salad should be.

  13. our local greek eatery serves a pasta salad similar. i cant remember if it has olives or not but it has the cold pasta with the vinnagrette tomatoes and cubes of feta plus cucumbers and red onions. looks delicious. will have to try it.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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