In Naples Italy, pasta was once sold by weight, not in packages. At the end of the day venders were left with broken pieces and small amounts of various shapes. They were all combined and sold as munnezzaglia, dialect for "all garbage". Wandering through Williams Sonoma one day, I came across a package of monnezzaglia. (I've seen it spelled with both with a "u" and an "o", but "o" is the spelling used on this package, which is imported from Italy, so let's go with that.)
Adapted from Ina Garten, 2007
2 cups monnezzaglia
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the monnezzaglia and cook according to the directions on the package. Remember, slightly undercooked as you're going to bake it. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.
Basic bread crumb topping: Place some bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Dump the bread crumbs in a bowl and add some melted butter; sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Would you like to see a healthier recipe idea I found for monnezzaglia? Check HERE. The fun variety of the pasta shows up better in this recipe as well.
Easy enough to make your own Monnezzaglia: try to use one brand of quality artisanal pasta and add bottom of the bag leftovers and broken spaghetti. I bet you were already doing that and didn't realize there was a name for it!