4 large fennel bulbs, tops and fronds removed, tough exterior layers removed, quartered
1-quart basic tomato sauce, more if necessary
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Italian parsley leaves
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp 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. Pour 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.
Once the fennel is cooked, taste for seasoning. Add sea salt and black pepper as necessary. Serve fennel topped with whole or chopped Italian parsley leaves and a side of fresh bread or crunchy crostini with ricotta.