1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the shells in one layer.
2. Wash the spinach carefully in a sink filled with cold water. Transfer to a medium skillet with just the water clinging to the leaves. Cover and cook over medium heat until the leaves are just wilted, about 3 minutes, tossing once or twice with tongs so the leaves wilt evenly. Transfer the wilted leaves to a sieve and place under cold running water until cool. Drain well and squeeze dry. Chop finely.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, egg, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
4. Cook the shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until not quite al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the shells and transfer them to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
5. Put half the tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the stuffing. You should have just enough stuffing to fill the 20 shells. Arrange the shells in a single layer in the dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over and around the shells. Top with the pecorino cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling hot, 30 to 40 minutes.
TO MAKE AHEAD: You can assemble this dish up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate. Bake the casserole at your destination. (This casserole doesn’t hold very well after baking so eat up!)
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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