500 g egg noodles
½ sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced
¼ cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/3 cups butternut squash puree (method below)
2 cups grated cheese (I used a combination of cheddar, Parmesan, and Emmental)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Panko or plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, not powdered
2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, shredded
For the egg noodles:
- Bring a large, heavy-bottomed pot of water to a boil; salt generously.
- Add pasta, stir well, and cook one minute less than indicated on the package.
- Drain into a colander.
For the sauce:
- In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, stir to coat and cook gently for about five minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well. Slowly add milk, whisking well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often until mixture thickens slightly and floury taste is gone.
- Add squash puree and mix well. Add cheese, a few handfuls at a time, stirring continually.
- Once all the cheese has been added and melted, stir in Dijon, and season sauce with salt and pepper.
For the topping:
- Combine Panko, Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl.
- Combine cheese sauce and cooked egg noodles together until noodles are well coated.
- Divide between two buttered 8-inch square pans or casseroles.
- Top with Panko topping.
- Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve at once.
- Prepare the butternut squash gratin recipe in full, but stopping just before baking.
- Wrap entire pans tightly in plastic wrap, mark with the date, and flash freeze.
- To reheat, remove wrapping and place in a 350F oven. Bake until heated through and bubbly around the edges.
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- Wash and peel squash; trim ends. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut bottom third off of the squash, then halve that and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the entire squash into roughly 1-½ inch pieces.
- Place squash in a medium pot and fill with cold water. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt and place over high heat. Cover pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender; about 10 minutes.
- Drain, return the squash to the pot and mash with a potato masher or whirl with an immersion blender.
Puree can be made up to one day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.