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Chorizo, clams and white beans

Chorizo, clams and white beans
Spicy chorizo sausage and black pudding both go extraordinarily well with clams and other shellfish and their sock-it-to-me flavour really brings this dish alive. If you can’t get clams, mussels are good too and usually very cheap.

Serves 4

  • 1 fat chorizo sausage, cut into diagonal slices
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • a large sprig of thyme
  • 50ml dry sherry
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 500g clams (or mussels)
  • 100g black pudding, or Spanish morcilla, skinned and broken up
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley (optional)
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place a large flameproof casserole dish or a saucepan with a lid on the hob. Add the slices of chorizo and cook them on a medium heat until the slices start to brown and the fat is coming out. Chorizo can burn quite easily so keep a close eye on it. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set it aside.
  2. Turn down the heat. Strain off most of the fat and reserve it, then add the wedges of onion. Fry them on a medium heat for several minutes until they’re starting to colour, then add the garlic, paprika and thyme. Cook for another minute.
  3. Add the sherry and allow it to sizzle for a minute or so, then pour in the chicken stock. Add the tomatoes and beans and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cover the pan. Leave to cook for 20 minutes while you prepare the clams or mussels. Wash the clams in cold water. If using mussels, wash them well, pull off any beards and scrape off barnacles. For both clams and mussels, discard any that don’t close when sharply tapped.
  4. When the beans have finished simmering, put the chorizo back in the pan to warm through. Arrange all the clams or mussels on top, then cover the pan again and let them steam for 3–4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat some of the reserved chorizo fat in a frying pan and quickly fry the black pudding. Remove it from the pan and drain on some kitchen paper.
  5. Check that the clams or mussels have opened and chuck out any that haven’t. Sprinkle over the black pudding and garnish with lots of finely chopped parsley, if using, then serve at once.
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