I could think of many wonderful regional recipes in Northern Spain, and Fabada is one of them. The consistency of the stew and the softness of the beans is what makes this dish so earthy and homey. I grew up eating this dish. It’s in my heritage. My talented aunts (on my mother’s side), from whom I took good note of many of the recipes I do at home, were Fabada lovers and known locally for the exquisite Fabada they both made. My mom and aunts have generously taught me the simplicity of high quality kitchen and is indeed the way I cook today. I always say to my young daughter, ‘this is the best legacy one can hope for’.
With the cold temperatures we are facing here in the east coast, Fabada, keeps us warm and you are never tired of it.
Delicate and soft. Many compare the softness of the Fabada beans to ‘sugar cubes’, as they melt in your mouth – ‘terrones de azucar’. It is also true about Fabada that it would be ‘naked’ without a good piece of freshly baked rustic bread to eat along with. I made a ‘mini’ version, thinking of my daughter (and husband, of course!). They both inspire me to cook every day of the week. Using authentic Spanish chorizo, which Fabada calls for, let it simmer for good 2 to 3 hours until the consistency is reached. Fabada requires time. It cannot be rushed. Slow food, indeed. It is one of those dishes that tastes even better the following day.
I pay tribute to beautiful (and always green) Asturias, with a simplified Fabada. I would generally hear a wow! or perhaps a yummm! around the table. Statements that fill me with happiness when we sit together and enjoy a homemade, melt in your mouth, simple Fabada.
Stay warm. I hope you will make Fabada during this freezing and powerful white winter!
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- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 pound of dried Asturian fabada beans or dried Lima Beans
- 6 ounces quality Spanish chorizo
- 12 cups water
- ½ tsp saffron threads (optional)
- 5 ounces Serrano ham
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large saucepan fill ½ full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt, onion and bay leaf, and allow to boil for 15 minutes. Stir in saffron and diced ham; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chorizo, and cook for 10 minutes more. Add beans. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans moist. Allow beans to stand for 20 minutes off of the heat before serving.