White Beans with Clams
- SERVINGS: 6
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.
- 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
- 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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