Basil flowers and buds create this unique, delectable ricotta, another good calcium source. If you don’t have flowering basil plants, use only fresh basil leaves. Stuff this herb-ricotta mixture into large, garden-fresh zucchini and tomatoes, which proliferate this time of year. Try to use pasta with added calcium, vitamin D and fiber. SERVES 2
• 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil flowers and buds
• 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 3 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese crumbles, divided
• 4 cups cooked rotini pasta
• Whole basil flowers, for garnish
1. In a medium bowl, combine basil flowers, buds and leaves, garlic, oil, ricotta and 2 tablespoons gorgonzola crumbles. Stir well.
2. Over medium heat, in a large nonstick frying pan or skillet, combine cooked pasta with the herb-ricotta mixture. Toss for 2 to 5 minutes until completely blended and warm.
3. Garnish with remaining gorgonzola crumbles and basil flowers. Serve immediately as side dish or main course for a light lunch or supper.
A healthy-living writer and photographer, Letitia L. Star has written more than 1,000 published articles, including many features on healthy eating and gardening.
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