If they're rejecting the pasta, then the cooks aren't doing a good job cooking it. My children don't even notice a difference between the whole grain and regular pastas when I cook them (some of the adults in the family do though). Or they're being offered choices that they are going to prefer to any kind of pasta.
I know my son had at least a couple of choices (besides the salad/fruit bar) at the school in San Diego, and they were pretty healthy but they still got to pick. I send my son with a lunch at the new school. It's just easier right now than switching him over.
It's sort of like preferences in milk. I was raised on whole milk, but had 2% at my grandparents. I slowly moved to lesser milks mainly because I can't stand the aftertaste of the "heavier" milks now, especially after having 1% UHT milk onboard the ship for 4 years.
I know I would much rather they offer healthy choices for my son at school than choices that are going to be worse to his health than simply him not eating certain foods there and me being able to make up for it at home with the healthier foods I know he will eat. If he's hungry enough, he'll eat. That's pretty much true for all kids. But if they have the unhealthy, but "tasty" options available, then they're going to pick those. Now if a parent would rather their kids eat something else or "knows" their kid won't eat the lunch available a certain day, they can send a lunch from home (in most schools with no problem). With the internet, school menus are available online for most every school in the country.