The Better-For-You Pasta Dish Rachael Ray Swears By

In the world of celebrity cooks and TV food personalities, there's no one quite like Rachael Ray. And while her bubbly persona does have its peculiarities, like her penchant for catchphrases that some find grating, Ray has no doubt developed a unique personal brand that sets her apart from the crowd.

A big part of Ray's career has always been a focus on making quick and easy meals for people to make at home, according to Starting out running TV cooking classes teaching 30-minute meals, the Food Network star's media empire has grown to encompass a wide variety of lifestyle topics, shows, and projects. Ray even runs a non-profit organization called Yum-o! which teaches kids how to make easy but nutritious meals.

Now, the Rachael Ray Show website even has an entire section dedicated to healthy living, replete with health-focused recipes that still have Ray's signature emphasis on speed and simplicity. Ray's husband, John Cusimano, even has a special recipe he makes to help Ray get better when she's sick. Recently, the Rachael Ray Show's Twitter account shared a pasta recipe that's packed with as many healthy ingredients as possible, each with special properties that help your immune system.

Chef Michael Schlow's immune-boosting fettuccine recipe

The recipe the "Rachael Ray Show" tweeted about originally came from Boston-based chef Michael Schlow, who created a creamy fettuccine dinner loaded with immune-boosting ingredients.

Schlow took inspiration from a list of 10 foods to eat to boost your immune system that Dr. William Li published at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which includes everything from green tea to broccoli sprouts. For this recipe, chef Schlow utilized tomatoes, mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, pecans, and pomegranate juice. If you're wondering how pomegranate works in a creamy pasta dish, chef Schlow has you covered.

"I said 'you know, Dr. Li, is it okay if we make it into pomegranate martinis?'" Schlow said in his video for the "Rachael Ray Show." "And he said 'Michael, any way you can get your pomegranate on is okay by me.'" Including a pomegranate drink pairing is an excellent way to get all the good anti-bacterial and gut health benefits found in pomegranate juice (per Medical News Today).

To make the pasta, Schlow sauteed the tomatoes and mushrooms in EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) with some garlic and rosemary. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants good for warding off disease, and mushrooms are known to "modulate" the immune system, according to Integrative Medicine. Even EVOO has been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities, too (via the National Library of Medicine). The pasta was topped with chopped and roasted pecans, which are loaded with minerals like copper and zinc which are great for immune function.

Other foods approved by Rachael Ray and Dr. Li

Chef Michael Schlow described his "delicious" immune-boosting fettuccine as "a super simple dish that you can throw together really quickly and help build your immune system" (via Rachael Ray Show). And that's with only 5 out of the 10 ingredients recommended by Dr. William Li. Some of Dr. Li's other recommendations include blueberries, blackberries, and oyster sauce.

But Rachael Ray has her own list of foods that give an immune boost. The list is more than twice as long than Dr. Li's, but it's informed and approved by nutritionists and doctors like Dr. Li — as are all the recipes in the "healthy living" section of her show's site. Some of the other health-boosting foods recommended by Ray's team of nutrition experts include everything from sourdough and pumpernickel to kimchi and ginger.

Dr. Li even teamed up with Ray on her show in April 2020 to talk about the importance of nuts and seeds for building up your immunity and your gut health, with a quick and easy recipe for a healthy trail mix to keep you going through the day. It seems there are all kinds of ways to combine these healthy and delicious eats!