1½ cups dry macaroni
1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
½ cup green onions, sliced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
4 thick slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup skim milk
1 cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese, plus more for topping, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees, if baking (see note).
Cook the macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, lightly saute the mushrooms and onions over medium heat just until mushrooms release their water. Add the tomatoes and bacon and toss together. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and form a paste. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until the milk and flour mixture is well-blended. Continue stirring until slightly thickened (about the texture of warm pudding). Add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
Combine drained pasta, cheese sauce and vegetables together in a casserole dish. Top with additional cheese, if desired. Bake 10 minutes for firm noodles. Serve immediately.
Cook's note: Baking is completely optional.
Nutrition values per serving: 360 calories, 19 g fat (9 g saturated), 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein, 55 mg cholesterol, 662 mg sodium.