This is my stripped down version of an Asturian bean and meat stew called fabada. And here I’m offering it as a side dish or a tapa. Morcilla is a blood sausage similar to the French boudin noir. I think it’s delicious. In Spain they would use a dried broad, white bean for this dish. If you can find some you like, by all means make that substitution---but you will have to soak the beans overnight and the cooking time might be longer. In general I find canned white beans to be completely adequate for this type of cooking, whether the dish is French, Italian or as in this case, Spanish. —pierino
6-8 slices crusty French bread (to use as croutons)
Extra virgin olive oil
16 oz can white butter beans, gigante beans or other broad bean
yellow onion, diced
garlic gloves chopped
cup white wine
1 bay leaf
pimenton dolce (sweet paprika)
salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped ripe tomato for garnish (mixing a couple of colors is nice).
Begin by heating some olive oil in a small skillet. Slice the bread and then slice it again crosswise. Take one or two garlic cloves and cut them in half widthwise. Rub the flat sides of the bread with the cut sides of the garlic. When the oil is hot, toast the bread in the oil---don’t let it soak up too much oil. As the slices are done drain on paper towel.
Place a 12” cazuela** or other shallow pan over a burner. If you are using the cazuela begin with very low heat and gradually bring it up to medium high. Add olive oil and allow to warm up enough to cook the chopped garlic (don’t let the oil begin to smoke). Add the garlic until it softens (in Spain they like to get it a bit brown but that’s up to you). Add the chopped onions.
Slice the morcilla into rounds about ¼” thick. Add to the olive oil and allow to color slightly. When you are satisfied that the garlic has cooked to your liking add the white wine and cook down until most of the liquid is gone. Keep turning the ingredients.
With heat at medium add the beans with their liquid, and the bay leaf. Mix everything with a spatula and add the pimenton. Add the salt and pepper and mix again. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the cazuela with a lid. It doesn’t need to fit tightly. Lower heat and keep it simmering for about 35-40 minutes. The beans should be soft and a bit creamy. This is another Mediterranean dish that will make your night kitchen smell heavenly.
To serve: place the croutons on individual plates or in small, individual cazuelas. Top each portion with the cooked mixture. Top each portion with a little bit of the chopped tomato. Be ready to drizzle with more olive oil before serving. Serves 4-6 as a tapa.
•La Espanola www.donajuana.com makes two types of morcilla, one with onions and one with rice. Here you would want to use morcilla de cebolla (onion type)
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.