Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until firm and lightly browned; remove from pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Cook and stir garlic, asparagus, and red pepper flakes in oil until asparagus is tender. Stir in chicken, and cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.