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The Mediterranean Lifestyle: Bring Joy To Mealtimes By Dining Together

By Family Features

July 4, 2024

The renowned Mediterranean Diet, celebrated for its myriad benefits, has been rated as a top diet in the world for years. Recognizing the benefits of the foods included in the Mediterranean Diet, it's important to broaden the understanding beyond its ingredients to embrace the elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle, which also contribute to these benefits. Essentially, it's not just about what you eat; it's also about how you enjoy it and with whom you share the experience.

Nutrition, physical activity, sleep and togetherness comprise this balanced way of living, with preparing, eating and enjoying food together being key elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle. You can immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of the Mediterranean lifestyle simply by inviting friends or family to gather around the table for a meal - like a family favorite Pasta dish.

The benefits of gathering around the table are abundant, ranging from fostering stronger connections and communication among family members to enhancing Overall Well-Being. In fact, first-of-its-kind research conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and supported by Barilla, the world's leading Pasta Maker, demonstrates that people experience greater happiness when they share meals with others, highlighting the importance of togetherness.

Published in "Families, Systems, & Health," the research shows a strong positive correlation between how often people gather around the table during mealtimes and enhanced connectedness, reduced depressive symptoms and an improvement in overall mood.

Semolina Pasta is a staple for many people in the Mediterranean region, playing a significant role in culinary history and making it a favorite ingredient in dishes aligned with the Mediterranean lifestyle and gathering around the table. For example, these recipes for Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad and Linguine with Zucchini Carbonara are perfect for sharing, whether you're hosting friends and neighbors or enjoying a meal with someone special.

A high-quality, minimally processed Carbohydrate, Semolina Pasta is naturally low in Sodium, a good source of Fiber and contains a variety of Micronutrients.

"Eating together is a joyful and important practice of the Mediterranean lifestyle that truly contributes to Overall Well-Being," said Michele Lefebvre, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Manager of Nutrition and Well-Being at Barilla America. "As a traditional yet versatile food, Pasta brings a sense of nostalgia to meals as people gather together around the table and connect in an impactful way.

Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 7

• 1 Box of Barilla Protein+ Cellentani Pasta
• 4 Tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
• 2 Pints of Grape Tomatoes, mixed color, halved
• 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
• 8 Basil Leaves, julienned
• 2 Cups of Small Mozzarella Cheese Balls, halved
• Salt, to taste
• Black Pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the Pasta according to the package’s directions and drain it. Drizzle the Pasta with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and place it on a sheet tray to cool and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the Tomatoes, the Lemon Juice, the Basil, the remaining Olive Oil and the Cheese. Season it with the Salt and the Pepper, to taste. Add the Pasta and stir it.
Linguine With Zucchini Carbonara
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

5 Egg Yolks
1 Cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated, divided
1/2 Cup of Milk
Salt, to taste
• 1 Tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 Medium Zucchini, julienned
• 1 Box of Barilla Linguine
• 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Mint, chopped
• Black Pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In a bowl, mix the Egg Yolks, 1/3 Cup of the Pecorino Romano Cheese and the Milk. Season it with the Salt, to taste and set it aside.

In a large skillet, heat the Olive Oil and cook the Zucchini.

Cook the Pasta according to the package’s directions. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Mix the Pasta in a pan with the Zucchini. Add the Egg Yolk Mixture and 2 Tablespoons of the cooking water and combine it well.

Add remaining the Cheese and the Mint; mix. Season with the Salt and the Pepper, to taste.

Visit: to discover more dishes that can help you follow the Mediterranean lifestyle.

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