Use a large pot that holds at least 7 quarts. The lighter the pot, the better; the water will come to a boil faster than with a heavy stockpot and―also key―return to a boil quickly after you add the pasta.
Salt the water once it comes to a boil. (Add salt earlier and it could end up pitting an aluminum pot.) The seasoning will give the pasta an essential flavor boost.
For every pound of pasta, you should use approximately 2 tablespoons of salt and 6 quarts of water.
Stir the pasta right after you add it to the water and then occasionally throughout the cooking time to prevent clumping.
Test about 1 minute before the time given on the package instructions. Dried pasta should be cooked through but still firm to the bite. If it sticks to the wall, it’s already overdone, so skip this noodle-tossing method. Fresh pasta will rise to the surface when it’s ready. It should be chewy and have a uniform color throughout. If you are add pasta to a sauce that will simmer, cook the pasta al dente (firm) or under cook the pasta as it will cook in the sauce.