Rachael Ray's Unconventional Gift To Howard Stern

Longtime Food Network host Rachael Ray is famous for two things: catchphrases like "Yum-O" and tips for making sensible, quick-cooking meals on a budget through shows like "30 Minute Meals." Shock jock king Howard Stern is famous for, well, basically the opposite of that. The 40-year radio veteran has made a career of pushing the envelope with his controversial humor, on-the-nose interview questions, and on-air visits from women in various states of undress (via Britannica). 

These two public figures might seem to have nothing in common other than both being successful in their fields. However, Ray and Stern are actually unlikely friends. Stern's wife Beth has even appeared as a guest on "The Rachael Ray Show." In fact, a painting of Ray's late dog — made by Stern as a 50th birthday gift — was one of the items that survived Ray's devastating house fire in 2019, according to the Rachael Ray Show. Over the years, Stern and his wife have gifted a number of handmade pieces of art to Ray, and the chef has reciprocated with a handwritten thank you note and her own unique type of gift.

Rachael Ray's handwritten recipe

The words "Howard Stern" and "handwritten thank you note" don't immediately go together in most people's minds. But according to The Talko, the famously raunchy radio host's current wife Beth has mellowed the controversial figure out. Rachael Ray recently reached out to thank the Sterns for all the art they've shared with her over the years, offering them a handwritten thank you note that included a recipe for pasta with tomato sauce and herb-filled ricotta cheese. The recipe, which is available on the "Rachael Ray Show" website, comes together quickly and looks perfect for a weeknight dinner.

The recipe calls for campari or large cherry tomatoes, which get quartered and "slump[ed]" in a little olive oil and butter alongside some salt and a "handful" of fresh-torn basil. Grate some garlic over the mixture before loosely covering it.

While your tomatoes are cooking down, add a generous amount of fresh spinach to a bowl with fresh ricotta and either cream or mascarpone cheese. Then, mix in a medley of your favorite chopped herbs. Ray suggests serving this with short pasta; don't forget to use the pasta cooking water to help the cheese get saucy and coat the noodles before serving. Ladle some fresh tomato sauce over your cheesy, herby pasta, and voila — dinner is served.