This is THE dish that absolutely defines comfort food for me. It's a carb laden feast with meat and sweet fennel, all wrapped in the coziest blanket of creamy cheesy tomato sauce.
If meal prep is your thing -- assemble this over the weekend and keep covered in your fridge. Take it out about 30 minutes before baking. Add a few minutes to cooking time. Serve it up with your favorite green salad.....or not.....the choice is up to you!
If you're more by a "fly by the seat of your pants" this takes about 20 minutes to prep, or less if your knife and sauté skills are Iron Chef-like.
And, if you're like me and forget to buy fennel -- the fennel seed mimics the flavor beautifully. Exactly the same, nope. But oh so close!!