1 tablespoon Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur (optional)
8 cups cubed (1/2-in.) pumpkin, such as Sugar Pie or Baby Bear (see notes)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 pound halibut, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Rouille (recipe follows)
How to Make It
Trim off and discard stalks, root ends, and bruised areas from fennel. Chop and reserve green tops. Rinse heads; cut in half lengthwise, then slice.
Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; add fennel, onion, and garlic and stir often until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add wine; cook until most of liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add broth, clam juice, Pernod (if using), pumpkin, saffron, bay leaf, salt, and pepper; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer just until pumpkin is tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Gently stir in fish; simmer until opaque in center (cut to test), 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Ladle into bowls and top with 1 tablespoon rouille and fennel tops.
Rouille: In a bowl, stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup.
I've made this every October since 2003 for my niece's B-day.It's more for a special occasion than every day.I substiute 1/2 to 1tsp. of anise extract for the liquer and have used several other kinds of fish,freshly caught yellow tail being the best in place of halibit.I also double the rouille because my family loves it so much.Make this beautiful,opulant dish when you have extra time for someone extra special.
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