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Barilla and Arduino: This is not your grandma’s pasta!

Arduino TeamOctober 12th, 2022

Italians are notoriously protective of their culinary traditions, often rooted in the use of specific local ingredients, family recipes passed on from generation to generation, and strict compliance to the way nonna and mamma always prepared favorite dishes. 

However, Italy is also a country of innovation and resourcefulness! So in the face of climate change, major pasta brand Barilla has taken a somewhat daring step forward to suggest their customers try passive cooking: let pasta cook in hot water after only two minutes of boiling on the stove, saving precious energy for the remaining cooking time. Italian grandmothers might cringe at the idea, but Barilla’s clear step-by-step guide claims this can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% – which could generate a remarkable positive impact on the environment, considering approximately 400 million plates of spaghetti, penne, tagliatelle, and more are served around the world every day. 

Worried your environmental awareness will come at the cost of not-so-great noodles? Don’t be! The key to successful passive cooking is to simply follow correct timing, so Barilla has prepared a complete downloadable chart with adjusted cooking times depending on the pasta shape. 

And since this may well be the modern way to cook your favorite Italian dish, why not make it easier – and a lot more fun – with some IoT? Barilla also provides detailed instructions to build your own Passive Cooker smart timer device: a temperature sensor and an Arduino Nano 33 BLE board, programmed via the Arduino IDE 2.0 and placed in a 3D-printed 100% biodegradable casing, connect to a dedicated free app on your phone to let you know when to pour the pasta in boiling water and when to turn off the stove – and start saving energy. 

Barilla’s website states, “We wanted to make this project open source so everyone can make their copy and even improve it if they want to.” That’s Italian for “Hey, Arduino community! Let’s start cooking.” 


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