This will make extra sauce (approx 2.5 cups extra) and noodles vs the ricotta mixture.
Fresh ricotta adds a noticeable difference to the final product, but pre-made can be used for the sake of time and simplicity.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 28oz cans whole peeled tomatoes – San Marzano preferred
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, finely diced
12 oz jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
12 oz mozzarella, grated
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup basil, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sautee garlic until golden brown and aromatic, 3 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes in your hand as you put them into the pot. Add butter and onion. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to directions, 9 minutes. Pasta should still have some crunch to it as it will finish cooking in the oven. When pasta is ready, drain and place on a baking sheet.
Combine ricotta, egg, 8oz mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan, pepper, and basil. Mix well. Transfer to a piping bag.
Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray or butter. Ladle enough sauce in to cover the bottom, about a cup. Fill the pasta shells with ricotta mixture and nestle closely together in the sauce. Layer on additional sauce, making sure there are no bare noodle tops and sauce covers shells to halfway up the side.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, top with additional cheese, and broil for 5 minutes.