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Spanish beans with black pudding and chorizo

Diana Henry / 01 January 2014

Yes, I am suggesting cooking dried beans from scratch, but if you make this dish for 4 then you have another serving to eat a couple of nights later (and this is one of those dishes whose flavour improves as it sits in the fridge).

Spanish beans with black pudding
Fabada Asturiana is a Spanish dish that combine sausages, beans and pork with varying quantities of tomato, paprika and garlic

Cooking time

2 hours




  • 350g white beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 150g bacon in the piece
  • ½ tbs tomato puree
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g chorizo
  • 150g morcilla or black pudding
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbs fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

If it really seems like too much of a drag then use tinned cannelloni or haricot beans, adding them to the sautéed ingredients along with 400ml chicken or vegetable stock and cooking gently for 15 minutes, then continuing as in the rest of the recipe. Home cooked is better, though! And a lot cheaper.

Heat 2 tbs of the olive oil and saute the onion until golden but not brown. Remove the rind from the bacon, reserving it, and cut the bacon into chunks. Add the smoked paprika and garlic to the onion and stir round over a gentle heat for a minute, then add the beans. In a separate pan saute the bacon in its own fat until browned all over.

Add enough water to come about 2 inches above the level of the beans and add the bacon, with the reserved rind, and the tomato puree, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down so your beans are on a gentle simmer. Cook like this until the beans are almost completely tender. This will take about 2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Keep the pan covered and watch the level of liquid – the beans must not boil dry but you don’t want them swimming in water either.

You need the beans to become more ‘stewy’ and thick as they cook so remove the lid after 1 1/4 hours or so (but still make sure the beans don’t become dry). Once the beans are soft season them and partly ‘mash’ some of them so that they disintegrate a bit.

Remove the skin from both the chorizo and the black pudding and slice into rounds. Heat the rest of the olive oil and sauté these until they have a good colour and are cooked through. Add to the beans along with the coriander or parsley. Stir gently, heat through and serve.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.