According to chef Josu Zubikarai of Taberna del Alabardero, beans are commonly used in Basque cuisine. Here they're paired with shellfish in a light Basque stew, which makes a tasty first course or simple main dish.Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips
1 3/4 cups dried navy beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
One 8- to 10-ounce bottle clam juice
3 dozen small clams (4 pounds), such as littlenecks, well rinsed
Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water. (Alternatively, in a large saucepan, cover the beans generously with cold water and bring to a boil; simmer for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour.) Drain and rinse the beans; transfer them to a medium flameproof casserole. Add 1 quart of water, the onion and green pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the clam juice, cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes.
Add the clams. Cover the pan tightly and cook over moderate heat; remove any opened clams after 5 minutes and check every 2 minutes thereafter. There should be enough liquid to keep the beans moist; add a few tablespoons of water if needed.
Spoon the beans and clams into warm bowls, garnish with the parsley and serve.
A Spanish Navarra goes well with this dish.
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