Perfect Pasta
A recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen
Put ample water on to boil to prevent pasta from sticking. If you're hurried use water as hot as possible from the faucet.

Add a clove or two of garlic and/or salsa seasoning or a hot pepper or two for added flavor.  Add a Tbsp. or 2 of oil; it helps keep pasta from sticking to itself, reduces boil-over & makes cleanup easier.  Add salt.

When water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta little by little, stirring constantly. Break spaghetti, linguine & other long pastas in half; it makes cooking & eating easier. Continue to stir gently until water comes back to a full rolling boil.  Reduce heat slightly; water should continue to boil lightly. Cook to taste according to pkg. instructions, depending if you want it "al dente" or tender. 

For salads:   Drain off hot water & cover pasta with cold water. After a minute, change water and refill with more cold water. The idea is to stop the cooking. As soon as it cools, drain very well. Stir in a Tbsp. of oil or ressing you will use on the salad, to discourage sticking.

For hot pasta: Drain immediately in a sieve or colander. Wipe out pan. Return to fire, & as soon as it's dry, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive, grapeseed or canola oil.  Heat on high until shimmering but not smoking. Tip pan to distribute.  Add drained pasta all at once. Stir to dry down pasta and coat with oil. Turn off fire & combine with sauce immediately, or serve "as is" for each person to add their own sauce.

Note #1:   If you like pasta "al dente" or firm, you can use less water than if you prefer it soft, which brings out more sticky starch & evaporates more water.

Note #2:  If you're on a low-salt or salt-free diet, adding more seasonings to the water, especially garlic, gives the pasta flavor that salt usually brings out.

Note #3For salad, don't overcook or you may end up with salad mush by the time you get it cooled & dressed.

Note #4:  If you're in a real hurry, after initial cooling process, place pasta in a shallow dish & cover with ice cubes.  After ice melts, re-drain & proceed.

Note #5:  The drying-down process helps the sauce cling to the hot pasta & increases the flavor.