Tag Archives: saffron


Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provencal seafood stew that is made with at least 3 kinds of fish and flavored with saffron and traditional Provencal flavors like fennel, tomato, bay, thyme and tarragon.  Traditionally, the soup is served with rouille, a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper on grilled bread.

My bouillabaisse is not a traditional version, but it does contain the traditional flavors.  I like to make this with leftover scraps of fish that I keep in my freezer when I buy a piece of fish to cut into fillets.  I usually have some halibut pieces and shrimp in the freezer, which is enough to make this dish (though it doesn’t meet the traditional rule of three types of seafood).  I also like to add clams, mussels or calamari to the stew.

I skip the rouille, and serve this with simple grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

Continue reading Bouillabaisse

Pasta with Fennel, Saffron and Raisins

Pasta with Fennel, Saffron and Raisins

This Sicilian-style pasta is a great venue for fennel. I also like this pasta with sardines.
Servings: 4


  • 1 bulb fennel cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 TBSP parsley chopped
  • 1/2 package spaghetti or fettucini*
  • salt and pepper
  • 8-12 large prawns optional

Breadcrumb Topping (optional)

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs**
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 TBSP minced parsley
  • 1 TSP crushed red pepper or Aleppo chili
  • 1 TSP lemon zest
  • salt and pepper


  • Place raisins and saffron in a bowl and cover with white wine. Let sit for at least 15 minutes (This will plump the raisins and bloom the saffron for maximum flavor.)
  • Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  • While pasta water is coming to a boil, heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.
  • Add fennel and onions to pan and sauté until vegetables begin to brown.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add wine, saffron, and raisin mixture and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Season mixture with salt and pepper.
  • If using prawns, season them with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they are cooked through.
  • Add spinach and lemon juice to pan and cover to allow spinach to wilt
  • Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to vegetable mixture and toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately topped with parsley and breadcrumb topping (if using).

Optional breadcrumb topping

  • Heat olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add remaining ingredients and cook until breadcrumbs are browned and crispy.
  • Top each serving of pasta with breadcrumb mixture.


*Regular or whole wheat pasta both work great here. My go-to pasta is a high-fiber white pasta - Ronzoni Smart Taste
**I save the heels of sliced bread and any other bread products in a plastic bag in the freezer. When the bag is full or when I need breadcrumbs I put bread pieces in the food processor and process until medium fine. I keep a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer at all times so I have them whenever I need them for topping casseroles, or using on pasta dishes.