This spread is reminiscent of the filling of traditional cheese ravioli and lasagna so luscious and satisfying.

MAKES 1ВЅ CUPS

1 cup ricotta cheese (preferably part-skim)

Вј cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon milk

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil

Вј cup minced fresh parsley

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Beat all the ingredients together by hand except 1 teaspoon of minced parsley in a medium bowl until very smooth. Scrape into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining parsley. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Use as a spread on toasted French bread or crackers, or as a stuffing in raw pepper strips.

NOTE: If you would like to make this into a dip, increase the milk to 3 tablespoons and the parsley to ВЅ cup. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. It will make an attractive jade-colored dip.