It depends on what's on the pasta :) If the dish has a "lighter" taste, say chicken or fish, then usually white is better. If it's got a red sauce or is beef or lamb, usually you'd go with red.
If you are thinking about doing wine with dinner at all regularly, you might try a couple different reds and whites. My favorite white is a Riesling, and my favorite reds are merlot or shiraz. If you're talking Itallian, chianti often comes up.