Although I am now gluten-free, I used to love pasta, and most of my comments will apply to rice pasta as well as wheat.
Pasta – if you hate waiting for pasta to cook, make sure you buy the fresh stuff (actually fresh, or packaged). Fresh takes 3-5 mintues to cook while the dry pasta takes about 20 min (including time to get the water to boil).
then – you can put lots of different stuff on the pasta. I try to limit my use of dairy, but if you like cheese, then anything is good (however, some cheeses just don’t melt well – like Swiss – but mozzarella, muenster, cream and any of the softer cheeses are great).
A simple sauce, perhaps the simplest, is just olive oil and chopped green onion. I just mix it in to the pasta after it’s been drained. If you want to spend more time, mix the olive oil and green onion in a pot over a low heat for a while; you can also add in some chopped mushrooms.
Another simple sauce for pasta revolves around tomato paste. You could use ketchup, but tomato paste is cheaper and less complicated. Mix a small can of the paste with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, chopped onions, and some oregano, and you’re good to go.
If you want meat in your sauce, just cook up some ground beef in a pan first, then add it to your sauce. Better yet, take some steak and cut it into really thin strips, cook it with a bit of soy sauce, and mix it into your sauce.
Another word about pasta: as I say later regarding meat, cooking time is proportional to the ratio of volume to surface area. The greater the surface area, the quicker it takes to cook. So, pasta that is thinner or in smaller pieces will cook in less time. In some cases, this is very significant (e.g. compare cooking time for dry fettucine with dry angel’s hair or linguini).