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Watch your fennel to broth ratio for the ultimate braised root.

If you truly love the kind of food only an Italian grandma could put on the table, you’ll need to hop a ferry to Staten Island and make a pilgrimage to Enoteca Maria. The kitchen is staffed entirely by Italian grandmas, and therefore the food on the table is filled with love. Restaurant founder Jody Scaravella’s new cookbook, Nonna’s House, is a collection of beloved recipes you’ll want to try…even if yours doesn’t turn out like Nonna’s the first time. Try out this great vegetarian recipe that becomes extraordinary when you add in cheese.

Braised fennel is made even more tempting with Gorgonzola in my recipe for this classic side dish. Add just enough broth so the fennel gets tender without becoming soupy.

Reprinted with permission from Nonna’s House