Step 1: Pick your serving size. 1 Portion = 1/4 box pasta, 2 qt 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. 6 Minutes - Al dente; 7 Minutes - Firm; 8 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; retire to a rapid boil. 3. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally. 4. Drain well. Serve as desired. Maintaining Perfect Pasta: To keep cooked pasta fresh for later use, toss with a small amount of olive oil or sauce, and refrigerate.