How to Get Stronger Bones with Herbal Foods: Herb Flower Buds Ricotta with Rotini

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Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison

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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