One of the pillars of great cooking is ensuring that each dish features ample textural contrast, an element as important as flavor. Once you strike the balance of sweet, salty, acidic, bitter and savory, it’s crucial to consider creamy, crispy, chewy and more.

But incorporating different textures doesn’t necessarily require additional ingredients. As in this lively springtime pasta dish inspired by one at the River Cafe in London, the solution can be as simple as cooking asparagus in two batches.

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