The New Traditionalist

The New Traditionalist

This is a sponsored post written by Binjal Pandya on behalf of Barilla®.

Strawberry & Rustic Basil Pesto Pasta Salad is perfect for people seeking a convenient, simple, healthy and quick meal option. It is an utterly lovely combo of flavors! You may not initially think pesto and strawberries go together but just trust me they are a perfect pair! If you like basil and strawberry, you’ll love this recipe too.

This salad is the best for summer gatherings. It’s a perfect lunch, light dinner or side dish for any upcoming picnics or parties because summer is all about pasta salads – and strawberries! But, adding Barilla® Rustic Basil pesto into the salad makes it more refreshing and flavorful. Moreover, it is very easy to make and the whole thing can be put together in 20 minutes and the leftovers (if you have any!) stay fresh for a long time in the fridge.

I used Barilla Rustic Basil pesto for this recipe as it is one of the staples in my pantry because it packs a burst of Italian flavor that can help you quickly and easily elevate the taste and appeal of almost any dish – whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd. It is made with 100% Italian basil and cheese and is so versatile that it can be used as pasta sauce, a marinade or a spread on a toast – the possibilities are really endless!

The Barilla Rustic Basil Pesto is amazing tossed with pasta, and the goat cheese in the dish balances out the sweet strawberries so well. I love this combo so much. This salad is insanely delicious with simple ingredients, classic flavors, easy preparation and big flavor! Just yum!!

When it comes to both food and life, you want to strike the perfect balance between mastering the fundamentals and having a sense of openness and willingness to play around in unchartered territory. It’s important to pay homage to our history and when we take the best, most meaningful aspects of our storied traditions and use them as a guidepost for our creativity and exploration, the results are reliably fantastic.

You may be surprised to find out that Barilla doesn’t make just one pesto variety, but four! That’s right, there’s so many options that you can choose from to suit your taste and personality. Check out the different varieties and their corresponding personalities below. If you couldn’t guess, I’m totally the Rustic Basil.

  • Barilla Rustic Basil - The New Traditionalist (Love of classic dishes, putting spins on traditional recipes)
  • Barilla Classic Genovese - The Passionate Purist (Obsessed with plating, presentation and modernity with their recipes)
  • Barilla Creamy Ricotta & Arugula - The Bold Adventurer (Adventurous in the kitchen and enjoys travel and cultural ingredients)
  • Barilla Sun-Dried Tomato - Life of the Party (Expressive party hosts, decorators and DIYers with a strong voice)

This pesto, in particular, is perfect for those home cooks that love exploring ways to incorporate spins on classic recipes, but still take pride in their heritage and upholding the traditions and recipes that have been passed down through generations. The qualities found in the Barilla Rustic Basil pesto also complement my personality. This pesto is reliable, simple and straightforward – you can always depend on it to elevate any classic dish, while I’ve learned that through my experimentation in the kitchen, what works and what doesn’t. You can do wonders with the most basic of ingredients, and this recipe is the ultimate proof of that.

I would like to share that this recipe was shaped by my teen and my husband, who always love cooking and helping me in kitchen. I had wisdom teeth surgery a few weeks ago and had to get stitches. Of course, it wasn’t a fun. I was in a lot of pain and was not interested in cooking anything. But, at the same time, I wanted to eat homemade food rather than restaurant food. So, my family decided to make a pasta dish. There is always Barilla pesto and Barilla pasta in my pantry, and they know it is one of the easiest and quickest meals to make. These are like a life saver whenever I want a convenient dish without sacrificing the quality or taste. But this time it helped them. They boiled the Barilla pasta, stirred Barilla Rustic Basil pesto in it, tossed it with hulled strawberries, chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kale and radishes and it was ready to eat. Now we make this pasta so often! It is So easy to make, isn’t it?

Guys… what’s your Pesto Personality? Share your creations on Instagram using #PestoBesto!

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Strawberry & Rustic Basil Pesto Pasta Salad
Servings: 8


  • 1 box Barilla® pasta short cut of choice
  • ¼ cup Barilla® Rustic Basil Pesto 
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup red radish chopped
  • ½ cup fresh baby kale or spring mix
  • 1 lemon juice
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumble
  • ¼ tsp Himalaya salt or black salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnishing


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  2. Add the prepared pasta into the large salad mixing bowl and toss well with the Barilla Rustic Basil pesto.
  3. Add strawberries, chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red radish, fresh baby Kale or spring mix and lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle some Himalaya salt, black pepper, goat cheese and a few leaves of fresh basil. Gently toss to mix all well.
  5. Serve it cold and enjoy this summer special Strawberry Rustic Basil Pesto Pasta Salad.
  • You can also add chopped avocado, carrot or Broccoli into this salad.
  • Instead of goat cheese you can also use mozzarella, feta or parmesan cheese.
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