Caciotta cheese, a semisoft variety seasoned with sage, makes this risotto extra rich. If it's not available, use any plain semisoft cheese and add 1/2 teaspoon of dried, crushed sage leaves.
Remove any tough or brown outer layers of fennel bulb. Rinse whole fennel with cold water; gently shake dry. Remove and discard the top 2 inches of fennel stalks, reserving green fronds. Snip fronds; set aside. Remove and finely chop remaining fennel stalks.
Cut one fennel bulb into six 1/4-inch-thick slices; set aside. Pull apart leaf and stalk sections of remaining bulb. Chop and set aside (should have about 1 cup).
In a 1-quart saucepan cook fennel bulb slices, covered, in a small amount of lightly salted water for 5 minutes or just until tender. Drain; set aside. In a large saucepan heat oil. Add chopped fennel, onion, garlic and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring often. Add grains; cook and stir for 3 minutes more.
Stir in chicken broth, the 1 cup water, the white wine, snipped or dried rosemary, and snipped or dried marjoram. Return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until grains are tender, stirring often.
Remove grain mixture from heat. Stir in cheese and half-and-half or light cream until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fennel leaves before serving. Garnish each serving with reserved cooked fennel slices and rosemary sprigs, if desired. Makes 6 main-dish servings.