Place water in large pot (I recommend an 8-9 quart pot for one pound of pasta). Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Remove lid and allow water to boil for one more minute, to allow to come to a rolling/vigorous boil.
Carefully add salt to water and stir with a wooden spoon, then carefully add pasta to boiling water and stir to break any pasta away from bottom of pot, and to break up any pasta lumping together.
Boil pasta, uncovered, on heat setting just below high heat (water should be at an enthusiastic boil, but not boil over). Start checking for doneness 2 minutes before recommended time on box is up, and then once every minute until pasta is done to your liking.
Drain pasta, then use with your favorite sauce or in your favorite recipe. If using in a cold dish such as a pasta salad, immediately rinse pasta under cold water in colander for 1-2 minutes. Stir or toss pasta in colander to make sure every shape is fully rinsed.
Pasta:This recipe applies to pretty much every pasta shape – from spaghetti to bow ties.The main difference will be the cooking times, but the cooking times do not only depend on the shape (they also depend on the pasta’s ingredients, thickness etc). Make sure to check your pasta box for the recommended cooking time.Another difference is what kind of pat you’ll want to use. If you’re making a single portion of shells, a smaller saucepan will be fine. But even for a single portion of spaghetti, you’ll want a pot that is pretty wide, so the spaghetti is quickly able to fully submerge in water as the bottom part softens.Salt:Believe it or not, but salts can be incredibly different. I use a fine sea salt for pretty much all of my cooking. Sometimes I buy table salt or a different sea salt from the store because I forgot to order the sea salt we usually have, and the “strengths” or how salty they taste can be so different.The shape of the salt also matters. Kosher salt, for example, has larger grains so it is bulkier on a spoon. This means you have less salt by weight on a tablespoon compared to something like a fine table salt, which makes it less “salty” if measured with the same spoon.If you are completely new to cooking, I recommend starting with the salt amount recommended in the recipe below. Just know that you may need to adjust the amount up or down, depending on your exact salt.