Add a splash of olive oil to a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and fry for about 5 minutes, until the meat's browned and starting to crisp. Break the beef up with a spatula as it cooks.
Add the garlic and shallot to the pan and cook 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and continue frying another 2 minutes. Add the fennel, and fry another 1 minute.
Add a splash of water to the pan to stop the frying. Pour in the passata and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt and several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper.
Cook the pasta about 1 minute short of the package directions. You can do this step the same time you're making the sauce. Once the pasta's ready, stir the cream into the sauce and give it a final test for seasoning. Drag the noodles into the pan of sauce and toss to coat. Add pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Serve with a topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese.