My mother laughed at me when she saw this was my tip of the day. She told me that "everyone" knew how to cook pasta. But not everyone grows up in a family that embraces cooking. So if you happen to know these things, that's wonderful. This post is irrelevant. If not? Here you go.
Sprinkle some olive oil and salt into the water while it's heating up. The olive oil keeps the pasta from sticking to the pot and itself. Salt is for flavor.
Don't skim over the phrase "al dente" when reading a recipe. The Italians know what they're doing. "Al dente" simply describes pasta that is cooked to be firm to the bite. And pasta tastes better that way, especially after you add your sauce.
Making spaghetti and you don't know if it's done? Bite the noodle. If you see a white dot in the center of the noodle it's NOT done yet.
The only time I don't mix my sauce with my noodles is if I make ravioli. Why? Ravioli leftovers reheated in the microwave is just eh. Instead, bring water to a boil and toss your noodles back in for 30 seconds. Voila! Fresh pasta.