10 ounces penne pasta (about 3 1/3 cups)
1 can (15 ounces) white beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
2-3 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
2 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup grated nonfat or regular Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.
While the pasta is cooking, place 1/4 cup of the beans in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth, and set aside.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick olive oil cooking spray or with the olive oil, and preheat over medium-heat. Add the garlic, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or just until the garlic begins to turn color.
Add the broth, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and pepper to the skillet, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft. Add the mashed white beans to the skillet, and stir to mix well. (This will thicken the sauce slightly.)
Add the pasta, the remaining white beans, the scallions, and the olives to the skillet, and toss gently over low heat for a minute or 2, or until the beans are heated through and the flavors are well blended. Add a little more broth if the mixture seems too dry. Serve hot, topping each serving with a tablespoon of the Parmesan, if desired.