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posted: 5/16/2012 4:06 PM

Pumped Up Mac and Cheese

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  • Bacon, mushooms and tomatoes give this kid-friendly dish a grown-up makeover.

      Bacon, mushooms and tomatoes give this kid-friendly dish a grown-up makeover.
    Alicia Ross/Kitchen Scoop


1 cups dry macaroni

1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, chopped

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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.

Serves four.

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.

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