Pasta salad is one of the first things I taught myself to cook when I was a teenager. I still make it pretty much the same way: just cook a box of rotini until al dente, and when it's done immediately rinse it under cold water until it's cool. Toss with whatever veggies, beans, tofu, etc. you have on hand (this is a good way to use up odds and ends). Add 1-1.5 cups of Italian dressing, toss to coat, and refrigerate awhile...this is one of those things that seems to taste better the longer it sits, so it's nice to make a big batch on weekends and pack it for weekday lunches.