You can cook rice in beef stock or chicken stock - with or without sauteed onions in olive oil. Be sure and salt the water of your pasta while coming to a boil and be sure and add some salt to your rice right when you add it to your water.
You can also add some fresh thyme to your rice while cooking or even cilantro.
As far as pasta it's what you put on the pasta that gives it flavor. But if you want just plain pasta then you can put some butter, salt, pepper, and add some fresh garlic to it then top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy