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Fennel in Cheese Sauce (Finocckio in Besciamella al Formaggi

ingredients

serves 4
1 head fennel
25 g (1 oz) 2 tbsp butter
30 ml (2 tbsp) flour
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup milk
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup single (light) cream
Salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup grated hard cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) breadcrumbs
30 ml (2 tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese

method

1. Trim the fennel and cut into chunks. Place in a steamer and steam over boiling water for 15 minutes until tender. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

2. Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the milk and blend to a smooth paste.

3. Cook gently for 2 minutes and stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute and add the grated cheese.

4. Pour over the fennel and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4.

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