2 cups mini-penne pasta
4 cups chicken broth
¼ cup finely minced onions, sauteed
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
5 strips of bacon fried and crumbled
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes (opt.)
2¼ cups milk
1 cup diced American cheese
bread crumbs and butter
Saute the finely minced onions until they are tender and sweet, set aside. Boil the pasta and vegetables (together) in the chicken broth until tender, then drain and stir a little butter into the pasta-veggies and set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter then stir in 3 tablespoons of flour, parsley, pepper and dry mustard. Stir and cook very slowly (let it just bubble) for about a minute, then add the milk, sauteed onions and bacon (whisk like crazy when you first start to add the milk to avoid any lumps). Stir and cook this sauce until it thickens. Remove from heat and add the cheese. After it sits for a few minutes, stir and the cheese should be mostly melted. Pour over the pasta and veggies and mix well.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and top with bread crumbs (see note). Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.
NOTE: Place 2 cups of plain dry bread crumbs in a frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Toast over medium high heat (stirring) until bread crumbs have absorbed all of the butter and the crumbs are golden. Spread evenly over the macaroni and cheese before putting in oven.