This recipe is from the northern region of Spain called Asturias. It is known for its high quality seafood, milk and cheese, as well as beef. In addition, Asturias produces a type of large white bean, called (fabe) that has a creamy texture when cooked, and its own DO (Denomination of Origin). These white beans are used to make both of the emblematic dishes of the region, Fabada Asturiana, a bean stew with sausage and pork, and this dish, Fabes con Almejas, White Beans with Clams.
If Asturian fabes are not available in your area, substitute another large white bean.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Soak Dried Beans: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours, 40 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings
- 1 lb dry "fabes de la Granja" or other large, white beans
- 3/4 lb small clams
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1/2 Italian green pepper
- 2-3 sprigs flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 glass (4 oz) white wine
- 1/2 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
- 3-4 threads saffron (substitute yellow food coloring if needed)
- olive oil
- salt to taste
Clean all debris from dry beans and rinse. Put beans in a large pot and cover with water. Soak the beans overnight, or at least 6 hours.
First cook the beans. Coarsely chop onion and 1 clove garlic. Pour out water from beans, and again cover beans with water. Add onions, garlic and bay leaves. Heat pot on stove, and simmer on low heat for about an hour, or until beans are softened and almost cooked. Remove from heat. (While beans are simmering, add water as needed.)
Cook the clams. Rinse the clams under cold running water, removing any debris from shells. Pour a beat of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, with a pinch of salt. Put clams in the water and cook until they open. Discard any clam that does not open, since eating them will make you sick. Reserve the broth and place the clams into the bean pot.
Saute the vegetables. Finely chop the other onion and garlic clove, green pepper and parsley. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, then add onion, garlic, pepper and parsley and sauté until onion is translucent. Add the flour and stir. Slowly pour in the white wine, and paprika while stirring and then add the reserved clam broth. Crush the saffron threads between your fingers to release the flavor and stir into frying pan. Stir and heat.
Add the vegetable-broth mixture to the beans and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt. Reduce heat and simmer a bit longer if needed, until beans are soft. Serve in clay bowls.