Cookbook:Fabes con Almejas (Spanish Beans with Clams)

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Fabes con Almejas (Spanish Beans with Clams)
Fabes con almejas - Jlastras.jpg
Category Spanish recipes
Servings 4
Time 90 minutes

Fabes con almejas, sometimes called habas con almejas, (Spanish for beans with clams) is a clam and bean stew that originated in the principality of Asturias in Spain in the 1800s as peasant fare.[1] It's a lighter variation of Asturian fabada whose primary ingredients are sausage, beans and pork.

The traditional recipe for fabes con almejas calls for small clams, white beans, onions, garlic, salt, saffron, bay leaves, olive oil, parsley, bread crumbs and sometimes sweet paprika.[2][3]

A small serving works well as an appetizer and a large serving is a satisfying main course.

Cooking with clamsEdit

This recipe calls for live clams. Here are some safety guidelines for buying, eating and cooking them:

  • Never buy a clam that's open or cracked.
  • Never eat a clam that won't open after cooking.
  • Cook clams within 24 hours of purchasing.
  • Always brush clams clean before cooking.


  • 1 pound (450 g) dried white beans (e.g. navy, great northern, cannellini), soaked overnight or boiled as below
  • 24 live littleneck or mahogany clams
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • one half onion (about four ounces)
  • generous pinch of saffron or yellow food coloring for rice
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika (not smoked)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • A large loaf of crusty bread
  • Salt as needed


  1. Rinse and soak the beans overnight.
  2. Scrub the clams clean and rinse.
  3. Drain the beans and place them in a skillet with the onion, garlic, two pinches of parsley, two bay leaves and the olive oil.
  4. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and cook over a high flame.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any foam. Cook them, loosely covered, until done. This should take about 90 minutes. Check the skillet occasionally to add water. Never allow the water to drop below the height of the ingredients.
  6. When the beans are almost done, place the clams in a separate skillet and add about an inch of water. Cover the skillet and cook over a medium flame, shaking the pan occasionally to help the clams open. Check the clams every minute. Remove them as they open and place them in a separate bowl. This should take no more than 10 minutes. Once you've removed all the clams you'll have clam broth in the skillet. SAVE THE BROTH. You'll need it for the next step.
  7. Check the broth for bits of dirt and clam shell. If there's a lot, you'll have to strain it through a cloth to remove the grit.
  8. Add the broth to the simmering beans along with the saffron (or food coloring), the remaining parsley, paprika and salt to taste.
  9. Cover and cook for five to ten minutes.
  10. Ladle the beans and broth into separate bowls and add six clams to each bowl.
  11. Serve with a crusty bread on the side.