Response to John Siracusa's Better Pasta (how to cook pasta correctly). Update 12/21/21: he was right about 3., it's significantly better; I do this every time now.read more
This article is by my favorite tech person; it’s a good read and it’s really all you need to know to prepare pasta at home. He knows his stuff, but please allow me to make some small clarifications.
1. Jarred sauce is essentially always a no-go, but Rao’s is acceptable.
Cucina Antica may also be considered acceptable, but I haven’t given it full vetting.
2. Generally, the salt is added after the water has come to a boil, but before you put the pasta in. He left this ambiguous, and it almost sounded like he salts the water before even putting it on the stove, which I don’t think people really do.
Finishing cooking your pasta in the sauce is pretty optional: I’ve only done it a couple of times, and honestly, I didn’t really like the results as much. The pasta felt too heavy for me, but it might work better with different sauces.