Italian food is an asshole. It’s easy to cook, messy to eat, and loaded with ass-enlarging calories. What makes Italian food so special? It’s consistent. It’s good. And it’s hard to fuck up. A sunlight deprived, Mom’s basement dwelling, cheeto munching gamer could concoct a somewhat gourmet Italian dish.
You can’t go wrong with ricotta cheese. It tastes like cream cheese’s sad, dehydrated cousin and turns Italian dishes into rich, pungent works of food art. We love this recipe because there’s just something about jumbo pasta shells that screams fancy. Pinky’s up, bitches.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (to keep the shells from sticking) and a teaspoon of salt. Cook the jumbo shells al dente*, about 8 minutes. Drain the shells and set to the side to cool.
Remove the casings from the Italian sausage (looks painful) and cut into smaller pieces. Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and crank it to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, onion, and sausage and cook until the sausage is lightly browned, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
Reduce the heat to medium and add spinach. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the spinach looks sad and slightly wilted but still has a bright green color. Remove from heat and let it cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage-spinach mixture with mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, egg, basil pesto, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Gently fold in the diced tomatoes. Dump half of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Stuff the cooked shells with the sausage-cheese mixture and throw each in the baking dish.
Dump the remaining pasta sauce over the stuffed shells and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the sauce begins to boil and the top begins to brown. Remove from the oven and serve with garlic bread, salad, or an old leather boot--we don't give a fuck.