Penne with Asparagus

3/4 pound penne
6 garlic cloves, minced or through garlic press
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large covered pot, boil water for the pasta. Once water is boiling, add penne and cook al minute less than recommended time.

In a large skillet, add oil and butter on medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add asparagus and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. Add Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.