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Maravilla fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta

Written By: Byron | June 10, 2023
A small cermaic bowl of maravilla fish stew sits beside a bunch of fresh parsley.

Maravilla Fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta is an easy, affordable, one-pot recipe that’s full of flavors that will take your tastebuds straight to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea! Delicious white fish fillets are gently stewed with plenty of herbs and spices and some veg help pad this meal out. 

The maravilla pearl pasta adds a delicious texture to this dish that’s sure to please and the chickpeas add a rich nutty flavor that compliments the fish and other ingredients perfectly. Made thick like a stew, this recipe is perfect for feeding the tribe and can be easily made in 40 minutes or less. The portions we used in this recipe make enough to serve 6 to 8 people.

Budget-Friendly Recipe | Fish & Seafood Recipe | One-Pot | Easy Recipe | Main Meal Recipe | Midweek Dinner | Made in Under 45 Minutes

Serving:

Main 6-8 servings

Ready in:

Under 45 mins

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Fresh bread

ingredients for making a fish stew with chickpeas, maravilla pearl pasta, and spicces all sit on a counter top.

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How to make fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta

Ingredients you’ll need

(serves 6-8)

  • 21 oz. (600g) white fish fillets (cut into large chunks) 
  • 14 oz. (400g) of cooked chickpeas 
  • ½ cup pearl pasta (called Maravilla in Spain)
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced fine
  • 2 potatoes, cubed in ½ inch pieces
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, grated and skin removed
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of La Dalia Spanish Sweet smoked paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 17 fl. Oz. (500ml) seafood stock (fish or vegetable stock is also OK) 

 

Equipment needed

 

Method

Step 1 – Prepare base

Boil water for your stock if using store-bought cubes (to use in step 2).

On medium-high heat, add the olive oil to the pot and brown the onions (5 minutes). 

Add the garlic and potatoes and cook until fragrant (3-4 minutes).

Reduce heat to medium, then add the spices and grated tomato and mix through. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Step 2 – Add stock and simmer

Add 4 ladles of stock and give everything a stir to ensure the ingredients are covered with stock. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 7-8 minutes

Step 3 – Add Chickpeas and pearl pasta

Add the chickpeas and pearl pasta and stir through. Add some more stock to ensure everything remains covered. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Step 4 – Add Fish

Add the fish and stir through, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked. 

Season to taste and serve garnished with some fresh chopped parsley or some finely chopped shallots.

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

Best fish to use for Maravilla fish stew

Any large white fish fillets will work well. Codfish (Bacalao in Spain) is great for this recipe, as is tilapia, bass, or snapper, and these are usually fairly easy to find in fishmongers, supermarkets, or frozen. 

Today, we used Gallineta as it was the freshest of the catch for the day and looked (and was) amazing. Gallineta is red skinned fish with delicious firm white fleshy fillets, it is similar in appearance to some types of scorpion fish, but Gallineta lacks the poisonous spines. 

Gallineta is inexpensive and readily available in the Mediterranean where it is prized in the kitchen for its flavor. Gallineta works well in stews and soups as it soaks up plenty of flavor and does not flake apart too much. Don’t worry if you can’t find this, as we’ve thrown in many different types of fish before and it doesn’t seem to make too much difference since there are so many spices and other flavors. 

What is Maravilla?

Maravilla is a small pearl-shaped pasta that is used in soups, stews, and broths. The pearls are made with the ingredients durum wheat and semolina. Once added to liquid, they expand substantially and help to thicken recipes, and you will only need a very small amount of maravilla added to any recipe to thicken. We used just ½ cup for this recipe and that was plenty. 

One of the most popular brands of Maravilla pasta is made by the Spanish pasta brand Gallo, but if you can’t find Maravilla in your local grocery store or online, sub it with giant couscous, sometimes called pearl couscous, and it’ll help to thicken your stew. 

How long does maravilla take to cook? 

It only takes around 5 minutes for maravilla pasta to expand to more than double the size and then it’s ready. Don’t worry though, as you can leave it in your stew or soup for as long as you like, it won’t overcook.

A small cermaic bowl of maravilla fish stew

Ingredient substitutions

Seafood

This recipe will work perfectly well with a variety of seafood. Cleaned and prepared clams, shrimp, octopus, or squid can easily be added. Just adjust when you add your seafood, depending on how long it needs to be cooked. 

Fish

White fish fillets work best for this recipe. Salmon or trout could be used, although it is likely to break apart more in the stew and will have a stronger fish flavor. 

Chili

Traditional Spanish cooking does not involve a lot of spice from ingredients such as chili, although that’s not to say this recipe can’t be given some heat! Add a few fresh birds eye chilies or your favorite chili of heat and swap out the sweet paprika for some Spanish La Vera smoked paprika *.  

Maravilla

If you can’t find maravilla pasta, you can use giant couscous. You can use regular couscous at a push too, it will just be a slightly different consistency but the taste will be similar. It’s well worthwhile trying to source Maravilla though as the texture is truly unique.

More Mediterranean-style fish stews and casseroles

Got a taste for fish and seafood recipes from the Mediterranean? At The Spanish Radish HQ, we love seafood and have plenty of recipes that have been sampled and perfected over many years. 

Here are a few of our favorite Mediterranean-style fish stews and casseroles;

A small bowl of Fish stew is served rom a large pot.

Nutrition facts

Servings: 8
Amount per serving  
Calories 271
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.5g 10%
Saturated Fat 0.9g 5%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 497mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 34.3g 12%
Dietary Fiber 6.5g 23%
Total Sugars 5g  
Protein 18.8g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 510mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

FAQs and cooking tips

How long does fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta take to make? 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes

Can I use frozen fish fillets for this fish stew recipe? 

Yep, you sure can. Just thaw your frozen fish fillets before cooking with them. 

What’s a good substitute for pearl pasta? 

Giant couscous is the best substitute for pearl pasta, followed by regular couscous.

A small cermaic bowl of maravilla fish stew

Maravilla fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta

Byron
Maravilla Fish stew with chickpeas and pearl pasta is an easy, affordable, one-pot recipe that’s full of flavors that will take your tastebuds straight to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea! Delicious white fish fillets are gently stewed with plenty of herbs and spices and some veg help pad this meal out.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course dinner, fish, lunch, Main Course, main meal
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean
Servings 8 people
Calories 272 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pot with deep sides and a lid, we suggest this Circulon Stainless Steel Cookware *
  • Box grater or flat grater
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife

Ingredients

  • 21 oz. 600g white fish fillets (cut into large chunks)
  • 14 oz. 400g of cooked chickpeas *
  • ½ cup pearl pasta called Maravilla in Spain
  • 1 onion diced fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced fine
  • 2 potatoes cubed in ½ inch pieces
  • 2 ripe tomatoes grated and skin removed
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of La Dalia Spanish Sweet smoked paprika *
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil *
  • 17 fl. Oz. 500ml seafood stock * (fish or vegetable stock is also OK)

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Prepare base

  • Boil water for your stock if using store-bought cubes (to use in step 2).
    17 fl. Oz.
    A large pot of homemade chicken stock
  • On medium-high heat, add the olive oil to the pot and brown the onions (5 minutes).
    1 onion, 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil *
    sauteed onions
  • Add the garlic and potatoes and cook until fragrant (3-4 minutes).
    4 cloves of garlic, 2 potatoes
  • Reduce heat to medium, then add the spices and grated tomato and mix through. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 ripe tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of La Dalia Spanish Sweet smoked paprika *, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt

Step 2 - Add stock and simmer

  • Add 4 ladles of stock and give everything a stir to ensure the ingredients are covered with stock. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
    Stoc is addded to a large pot of simmering ingredients.

Step 3 - Add Chickpeas and pearl pasta

  • Add the chickpeas and pearl pasta and stir through. Add some more stock to ensure everything remains covered. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    14 oz. 400g of cooked chickpeas *, ½ cup pearl pasta
    Chickpeas and maravilla pearl pasta are added to a large pot.

Step 4 - Add Fish

  • Add the fish and stir through, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked.
    21 oz. 600g white fish fillets (cut into large chunks)
    Some chunks of fish are added to a large pot of fish stew.
  • Season to taste and serve garnished with some fresh chopped parsley or some finely chopped shallots.
    Handful of fresh parsley
    A small cermaic bowl of maravilla fish stew

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 200gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 34.3gProtein: 18.8gFat: 7.5gSaturated Fat: 0.9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 497mgPotassium: 510mgFiber: 6.5gSugar: 5gCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chickpeas, dinner, easy stew, fish, Fish stew, Maravilla, mediterranean, mediterranean cuisine, pasta, pearl pasta, seafood

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