In a world where emotions often transcend words, a universal love language emerges: preparing a home-cooked meal. This sentiment is also echoed in a global survey commissioned by Barilla, revealing that almost 50% of people demonstrate their love through cooking, affirming the perpetual discovery of new ways to articulate love, especially when it comes to grand Valentine’s Day gestures.

Barilla, a world-renowned pasta maker who’s helped gather people around the table for 145 years, believes sharing a quality pasta dish together is the ultimate sign of love. Today, love languages have become well-known avenues to express love, devotion, and cherished connections, letting actions convey what words cannot. Confirmed by the recent survey, people are replacing the traditional “I love you” with actions that speak louder than words, as 64% would choose cuddling to express their feelings. Furthermore, over half of the respondents (68%) believe that love means coming back home and finding their favourite food for dinner, proving that food is the way to their heart.

This research also uncovers that while food is strongly connected to expressing one’s feelings, more specifically, Pasta is one of the 5 foods most associated with love. 20% agree that there exists an inherent link between pasta and love, along with more conventional options like chocolate and strawberries. Certain recipes were also found to evoke strong feelings of love and affection, with 25% of respondents selecting Carbonara as their top choice, while 23% identified Pasta with Seafood as the recipe most closely linked to heartfelt emotions.

While Valentine’s Day traditionally celebrates romantic love, it has evolved into a significant cultural moment where people show gratitude and affection for friends and family in addition to partners, exchanging cards, gifts, flowers, chocolates and above all, building lasting memories. 25% of the people surveyed confessed to going out for a special Valentine’s Day dinner, but an astounding 51% identified cooking for loved ones or enjoying an evening at home as their preferred way to celebrate.

And, this year, Barilla invites all romantics and pasta enthusiasts to bring this celebration to life by participating in an exciting giveaway** for the chance to win a special limited-edition heart-shaped pasta that fuses two hearts together into one, subtly offset, symbolizing the joining of two souls through the act of cooking. As a unique combination of carbohydrates, fiber and essential nutrients, pasta’s versatile nature also makes it a perfect canvas for a wide variety of nutritionally beneficial ingredients and can therefore be easily integrated to a balanced diet. A number of sophisticated recipes made by a renowned Academia Barilla chef bring this distinctive pasta shape to life, allowing people to gift their loved ones a tasty meal that also respects the planet with a low environmental impact.

“When I was asked to represent this campaign through my recipes, I immediately thought of the inherent act of love ingrained in cooking pasta. The process of preparing and enjoying pasta is a way for people to connect and create a bond around a delicious meal. It symbolizes the joy of coming together, sharing stories, and creating memories, whether it is a family gathering or an intimate dinner with a partner. The symbolism of the two hearts uniting in this special limited edition pasta shape has inspired me to create these recipes, reflecting a sense of harmony and complementarity. Through them, I aim to convey the passion that fuels these moments because when words fall short, pasta speaks to the heart.

Marcello Zaccaria, renowned Barilla chef and International Ambassador of Italian Cuisine

In addition to the special heart-shaped pasta and carefully crafted recipes, participants in the giveaway have the chance to win a trip to Italy, the country of love.

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