¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 thick slice country-style bread
4 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
¼ cup toasted almonds
2 roasted red peppers, drained, deseeded, and chopped
½ cup drained, chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked or hot paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped, for garnish
Pecorino Romano PDO, for garnish
ROMESCO: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add bread slice and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bottom is golden and crispy throughout. Flip and cook for another minute or two. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool before tearing into chunks.
Thinly slice garlic, transfer to a mortar and pestle, and mash into a paste. Transfer garlic, along with toasted nuts and breadcrumbs to a food processor. Scraping sides frequently, process until mixture is finely ground and wet. Add roasted red peppers and tomatoes and process until smooth. Add vinegar, remaining ¼ cup olive oil, paprika, and salt and pulse until incorporated. Season to taste if necessary. Set aside.
ASPARAGUS: Heat oven to 425°F. Assemble asparagus in an even layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and tender when pierced.
ASSEMBLY: Spread an even layer of romesco sauce on serving platter. Top with romesco sauce and garnish with shavings of Pecorino Romano and chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately.