A Little Complicated, but Spectacular!

First Prepare the Sauce


1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise

5 carrots, quartered

1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

2 red bell peppers, quartered

1 pound plum tomatoes, halved

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and bulb quartered

2 large onions, quartered

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup boiling water

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (1 cup)

1 (4-inch) piece celery

4 parsley stems

1 large thyme sprig

8 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 cup dry red wine

4 quart water

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil; 1 1/2 ounces)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Roast vegetables:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Toss leek, carrots, garlic, bell peppers, plum tomatoes, fennel, and onions with oil, then spread in a 17- by 14-inch roasting pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until well browned and tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Soak porcini and make bouquet garni while vegetables roast:
Pour boiling water over porcini in a bowl and soak until softened, 10 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wrap celery, parsley stems, thyme sprig, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with string.

Lift out porcini, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and rinse to remove any grit. Pour soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into another bowl.

Make stock:
Transfer roasted vegetables to a 6- to 8-quart pot and add wine to roasting pan, then deglaze pan by boiling, scraping up brown bits, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine to vegetables in pot along with water (4 quarts), porcini and soaking liquid, bouquet garni, sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until stock is reduced to about 6 cups, about 2 hours. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing firmly on and then discarding solids.

Make sauce:
Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add stock in a stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stock can be made ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered, 1 week or frozen in an airtight container 1 month. · Sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, uncovered, until cool, then covered. Reheat before using.

Then Finish the Dish


1 fennel bulb, cored, quartered, and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium parsnips, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound shallots, peeled and left whole, plus 1/2 cup chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 (8- to 9-lb) pumpkin

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved

1 teaspoon chopped thyme, divided

Roast root vegetables:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Toss fennel wedges, parsnips, celery root, carrots, and whole shallots with 2 tablespoons oil, teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan until coated, then roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven. Leave oven on

Prepare pumpkin while vegetables roast:

Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (6 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; do not discard top), then sprinkle flesh with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put pumpkin in a large roasting pan.

Finish the pumpkin:
Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into pumpkin and cover with top, then brush all over with remaining tablespoon oil. Roast 1 hour.

While pumpkin roasts, heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped shallots until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and begin to give off liquid, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon thyme, then stir in 1 1/2 cups more sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and fold in roasted root vegetables, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

After pumpkin has roasted 1 hour, spoon vegetable filling into it, then cover with top. Roast until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork, vegetables are tender, and filling is hot, about 30 minutes more.

Serve remaining sauce on the side.