Adapted from: My Kitchen Cafe
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces ziti, penne, or thin spaghetti (we used whole wheat pasta)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups asparagus, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes(optional)
3/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the asparagus, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the asparagus turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.
Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the milk, parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cherry tomatoes and serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired.