So, it turns out we've been cooking pasta wrong all along. For as much cooking as we do, I'm surprised we didn't discover the "secret" a while ago. It's not really a secret; Blake searched the web for pasta cooking instructions in preparation for a delicious Ragu he was making for Christmas. The sauce recipe was straight from an Italian Grandma, so the pasta had to be done right!
Here is what he found (taken straight from Blake's mouth and typed by his hands):
When cooking pasta follow these simple steps to ensure perfectly cooked pasta (we are, admittedly, still perfecting this).
We bought this 12-Quart pot recently. A perfect "big pot" for pasta.
1. Important: Use a big pot with a lot of water...preferably 5-6 quarts per pound.
2. Season with a significant amount of salt, up to 2TBsp's per pound (please put salt in after water is boiling) This really surprised me!
3. As soon as you drop the pasta in the water, stir pasta for one minute.
4. Cook pasta until just before your desired level of al dente.
5. Important: Once the pasta is ready for draining, transfer immediately to your sauce to finish the cooking process for 1-2 minutes, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it finishes cooking to the "perfect" al dente.