You may not be able to stay at the Hotel Hassler Roma, a historic five-star hotel in the heart of Rome, but you can recreate the experience of dining at its Imàgo restaurant with this quick and easy recipe
Risotto with asparagus, pink sparkling wine and peppery mussels
4 1/3 cups Vialone Nano rice
6 1/2 tablespoons shallots
1 clove garlic
2 pounds mussels
1 bunch of asparagus
1 3/4 cups pink sparkling wine
6 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
Salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil
Clean the mussels and steam in a lidded pot with garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 cup of sparkling pink wine and a generous amount of pepper. As soon as they open, drain and filter the cooking liquid, keeping it to be used later, and shell the mussels.
Blanch the asparagus in salted water and then cool down immediately in water with ice. Cut and keep the tips of the asparagus aside (reserve for garnish). Cut half of the asparagus stalks into small pieces. Purée the other half in a blender.
Chop the shallots and brown in a pan with half of the butter and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Once wilted, add the rice and toast it with the remaining sparkling wine. Continue to cook, slowly adding the reserved mussel cooking liquid along with an equal amount of water. When the rice is halfway done (when half of the liquid has been absorbed), add the chopped asparagus. When the rice is almost done, add the asparagus purée, and soon, after the mussels. Remove the rice from heat and let stand for two minutes.
Add the remaining butter, grated pecorino cheese and minced wild fennel.
Sauté asparagus tips with oil, salt and a light sprinkle of pepper. Place over the risotto.