IMG_6348Andre absolutely loves fennel. He snacks on it raw and will always order it if he sees it on a menu. This fennel dish was first discovered in a cooking class we took from Evan Kleiman at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories and we have been making it ever since. There is a rich heartiness to this braised fennel and tomato that is surprising and will make both meat-eaters and vegetarians very happy and very satisfied. Serve it alongside fresh bread or a crostini topped with ricotta to help you get every last bit of sauce from the plate. It’s absolutely delicious.


4 large fennel bulbs, tops and fronds removed, tough exterior layers removed, quartered

1 quart basic tomato sauce, more if necessary

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


extra virgin olive oil

fresh italian parsley leaves

IMG_6341In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Place the quartered fennel in the pan, making sure that each piece is touching the bottom of the pan and flat.

IMG_6343Pour tomato sauce over the fennel just to cover it. Place parchment paper over the pan, and then cover with a lid. Cook over medium-low heat for 45-60 minutes, or until fennel is soft to the bite. If the sauce reduces too much, add more sauce or add some water to the pan. Continuously check the pan and move the fennel around slightly, as you don’t want the sauce or fennel to burn in any places. Once the fennel is cooked, taste for seasoning. Add sea salt and black pepper as necessary.

IMG_6345Serve fennel topped with whole or chopped italian parsley leaves and a side of fresh bread or crunchy crostini with ricotta.