There is a lot to know when it comes to cooking pasta. The art of making pasta starts from the pasta selection itself and demands attention and care even before it meets the sauce, as it must enhance its aroma and flavor rather than masking its imperfections. To bring a perfect pasta dish to the table, follow meticulously a couple of key cooking rules. Let’s start with the pot. Choose a large pot to gather the most possible heat. It has to be wide enough to hold the amount of water needed, i.e. 1 liter of water for every 100 grams of pasta. Pay attention to the salt: it must be kitchen salt and in proportion to the amount of water: 10 g of salt for each liter of water. When the water starts boiling, add the salt and then put the pasta in. At De Cecco, we recommend raising the heat and covering the pot with a lid, in order to bring the water to a boil again. After initial stirring to separate the pasta, let it cook according to instructions. De Cecco indicates on the package the ideal cooking time according to pasta type. Follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong. Your pasta is ready when it is al dente. There is a very simple way to check this. Break it with a fork. If you see a white circle inside (animella), for pasta types with a whole (bucati), or a dot in case of long formats, it needs another couple of minutes. When it has a uniform color, it’s ready to be drained. One last De Cecco tip: add a glass of cold water to the pot, which prevents the pasta from cooking further while draining it. According to the recipe, you might need to keep a couple of ladles of cooking water to dilute certain sauces, especially the cheese or cream-based ones. Finally it‘s time for the long awaited encounter with the sauce. This is when you realize the importance of your choice of pasta, although your taste buds are the final judge.