Well would you look at that, TWO references to It’s A Wonderful Life within two posts this month (you know, when Mary and George are on their way home and they’re singing?). Must just be the time of the year! For those of you that were thinking about Silence of the Lambs and got freaked out, don’t worry, we aren’t talking about lotion or anything. Instead, we’re talking about Buffalo Stuffed Shells!
There hasn’t been much going on in my neck of the woods aside from working, running, and enjoying the Holiday season… which is more than okay by me! It’s definitely been interesting to navigate the Holidays as an “official” vegetarian, which I have been for almost 5 months now. I get asked the typical questions such as “why?” and “do you eat chicken? at least fish?,” and sometimes odd questions like, “you mean you don’t eat bacon?!” The easiest way I’ve found to combat the weird looks is to make delicious food that everyone can eat – then I don’t have to worry about eating just chips for dinner, or inconveniencing anyone with my dietary needs. Plus, it’s making me cook more which is something I want to do in the coming year. I’ve cooked a lot, but most of it has been things from Pinterest or things I’m comfortable making. I decided to start early with this recipe and hopefully I can keep it up!
Despite being on the vegetarian train, I still have cravings for things like cheeseburgers and buffalo wings, with my favorite substitute for wings to date being this buffalo cauliflower. I’ve also made buffalo lasagna and figured I’d try my hand at buffalo stuffed shells. I love stuffed shells (especially the Mexican variety), so I hoped the shells would work with a buffalo flavor – and they did. While I used ricotta cheese, this could easily be made vegan with tofu and a dairy-free shredded cheese. And if you aren’t vegetarian, you could definitely add some shredded chicken to the mix.
Vegetarian Buffalo Stuffed Shells
– Serves 4 –
14 jumbo pasta shells
8 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce (or other “wing” sauce)
1/2 cup smoked cheese, shredded (I used applewood smoked gruyere)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or a cheddar mix works)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook the pasta shells according to the package. I like to throw in a few extras in case some fall apart/break while cooking.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup of the Frank’s, and smoked cheese.
3. Once the shells have cooked and cooled enough so you can touch them, fill each shell with 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese and Frank’s mixture. Put the shells into a greased 8×8 dish.
4. Top the shells the remaining 1/4 cup of Frank’s and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.