HEALTHY Ricotta, Zucchini & Basil Pasta Recipe

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We are excited by the warmer weather and feeling great with all the fresh spring foods that are now around - we hope you are too! The recipe we are sharing with you today is one of our and our clients favourites - Ricotta, Zucchini & Basil Pasta Salad. 

Three reasons why we love this recipe: 

1. High in calcium: the ricotta cheese provides some highly bioavailable calcium and the broccoli adds a plant source of calcium! Important for growing bones/teeth and maintaining bone mass especially in ladies over the age of 55 or after menopause due to a drop in the protective hormone estrogen. 

2. High in fibre: wholewheat pasta, chickpeas and the insoluble fibre from vegetables delivers prebiotics to the gut. This helps feed the healthy bacteria that live in our intestines, promoting a healthier immune system, helping ease constipation and lowering cholesterol. 

3. Low in glycaemic index: padding out the pasta with lots of vegetables and beans means the carbohydrates from the pasta will be delivered in a nice slow way, giving sustaining energy and limited spikes in blood sugar. 

IT IS FAMILY FRIENDLY! (Tried and tested on kids - of all ages!) 

RICOTTA ZUCCHINI BASIL PASTA

Makes: 4 servings

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup of dry spiral pasta
  •  1 x tin chickpeas, drained
  •  1 tbls olive oil
  •  3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  •  2 large broccoli heads, cut into florets
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  •  ¾ cup reduced fat smooth ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbls pine nuts
  •  1 bunch basil leaves

What to do:

1  Bring 2 cups of water to the boil, add pasta and cook until al dente (approx. 15 mins). Drain and set aside.

2  In a large frying pan add 2 tsp olive oil and cook zucchini, broccoli until tender. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

3  Add pasta, chickpeas & ricotta to the pan, adding 2 – 3 tbls water to form a smooth textured sauce.

4  Serve each plate ¼ of the pasta mixture, top with pine nuts & basil leaves.

*TIP: Cook a double portion and have as a cold salad the next day ! 

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Katrina Mills

Katrina is an enthusiastic and driven dietitian with a client-centered approach to nutrition and health. She understands the positive effects nutrition has on the ability to assist in recovery, ease symptoms and improve overall quality of life.