Cooking Preparation: Pasta by the pound. 1. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. 2. Before pasta, add approx. 1/4-cup salt, never oil. 3. Add pasta to water and stir. 4. To bring water back up to a boil, cover with lid. 5. Once boiling, remove lid, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook for approx. 9 minutes. 6. Drain (never rinse) and immediately toss with desired sauce in a saucepan. 7. Cook together for about 2 minutes on high heat to marry flavors, and serve.