- Get lots of salted water boiling. Make sure the pasta has enough room to move around while cooking.
- Add the pasta and stir. You don’t have to stir the whole time, just enough to keep it from sticking. Tongs work well for this task.
- Undercook the pasta. Really. Cook it until the noodles are still a tiny bit hard in the center, just before al dente. After tons of testing, we concluded that it’s generally 2 minutes less than the packages’ recommended al dente cooking time.
- Drain in a colander and shake just until dry. Once the noodles are no longer slick with cooking water, return them to the pot you cooked them in.
- Keep cooking with the sauce. Add whatever sauce you’d like to the pasta in the pot. Cook them together over medium heat, tossing all the while, until the noodles are coated and have absorbed some of the sauce. That extra cooking time will get them perfectly al dente too.