It’s no secret that I’m big on seasoning. Beyond anything else, the perfect seasoning can make or break your dish. It is that essential thing, like lighting to a work of art: too little, and you can’t see a thing, too much, and you’re blinded. I’ve noticed that many people don’t seem to season their pasta water appropriately, if at all. For those that don’t know, you MUST season your cooking liquid. It’s really the only chance you get to flavor the pasta itself. If you season it after it’s already cooked, the salt merely sticks to the outside of the pasta. Even the most sublime pasta sauce cannot compensate for a bland noodle. For a large pot of boiling water, I generally use about 3-4 teaspoons of salt. A basic rule of thumb (borrowed from the Italians), is that your pasta should be cooked in water as salty as the sea. Which leads me to my next point: avoid over-cooking your pasta. Not only does it damage the integrity of the noodle ( no one likes a limp noodle ;)), but you run the risk of reducing your cooking liquid and winding up with OVER-seasoned pasta. You want the water to be salty, not the pasta itself.
Note: For a softer seasoning, use Kosher salt.