• 4 fennel bulbs, tough outside leaves removed, and quartered lengthways

  • 175ml (6floz) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 head garlic, split into cloves and peeled

  • 2 tbsp soft oregano leaves, chopped

  • 125ml (4floz) dry white wine

  • 1 x 400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes

  • 300ml (10floz) boiling water

  • salt and ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 50g (2oz) parmesan, grated

  • 12 basil leaves, ripped

  • 24 black olives, stoned and roughly chopped


  • 1.

    Heat a frying pan until hot, then add the olive oil and fennel and cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes until starting to brown.

  • 2.

    Add the garlic, oregano, wine, tomatoes and boiling water.

  • 3.

    Cook over a very low heat for 1 ½ hours.

  • 4.

    If there is still a lot of liquid, cook on a fast heat until very little water remains and the sauce has thickened.

  • 5.

    Season with salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar.

  • 6.

    Finish with grated parmesan, the basil and chopped black olives.

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