Step 1: Pick your serving size: 1 Portion: 1/4 Box pasta, 2 quarts water, 1 tsp salt; 2 Portions: 1/2 Box pasta, 3 qt water, 2 tsp salt; 4 Portions: Full box pasta, 5 qt water, 1 tbsp salt. Step 2 Pick your time/firmness: 8 Minutes: Al dente; 9 Minutes: Firm; 10 Minutes: Tender. Step 3: Cooking: 1. Bring water to a rapid boil. To add flavor and reduce stickiness, add salt. 2. Add pasta and stir; return to rapid boil. 3. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally. 4. Drain well. Serve as desired. Maintaining Perfect Pasta: To keep pasta fresh for later use, toss with a small amount of olive oil or sauce, and refrigerate.