Campanelle is a type of pasta typically fairly small and shaped much like a small bell or cone with ruffled edges. This pasta is often used in pasta salads, since the shape of the pasta can easily be found among the other ingredients. The ruffled edges and conical shape also make this pasta ideal for dishes with sauces or baked dishes, as the surface of the pasta can capture sauce quite well. Campanelle is otherwise just like any other pasta, and is typically made as a combination of flour and eggs.
The name “campanelle” is Italian for “little bells” and also refers to a musical instrument that consists of small bells, sometimes called hand bells. This pasta is named for the shape of the pasta, which resembles a simple bell shape or a cone shape with ruffled edges that make it quite appealing once on a plate. There are many different dishes that can be made using campanelle, and this pasta can also be used as a replacement for other types of pasta to make a more visually appealing dish. Even otherwise simple dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, can take on an exotic appearance with the substitution of campanelle.
One common usage for campanelle is in pasta salads, which can be served hot or cold. This is because the general shape of the pasta makes the pieces easy to find among the other ingredients frequently added to pasta salad. Since these salads also typically feature sauces or dressing, this pasta shape is also quite effective, as the ruffles and central pocket of the cone work well to hold and trap the sauce or dressing. This is also why such pasta is often used in dishes that feature heavy sauces.
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The shape of the campanelle can easily be coated in the sauce, making it easier for the eater to enjoy the flavor and texture of the sauce itself. Baked dishes also frequently use this pasta, due to its small size and the ease with which the pasta can be eaten with a fork after baking. Campanelle is just like any other pasta, however, in that it is typically made with flour and eggs. These two ingredients are combined to create dough, though other flavors or ingredients can be added as desired, and then rolled out thin before being cut into small pieces and made into the namesake bell shape.