Mistake #10 Over Saucing
Properly cooked and seasoned pasta is a treat, both in flavor and in texture. In Italy, pasta is served as one course of a larger, multi-course meal, so it is lightly sauced so that the flavor of the pasta is prominent.
Here in America, where we generally only eat one course at home, the pasta just seems to be the vehicle to get the sauce to our mouths. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are serving a healthy sauce. If you generally bury your pasta under a mound of sauce, do yourself a favor and sauce lightly.
The Fix—Use Just Enough
Mario Batali has said that the word Italians use to denote their pasta sauce means “condiment” in English. If you consider sauce as the condiment to the pasta, it becomes easier to understand the traditional relationship between pasta and sauce.
The sauce is there to enhance the flavor and texture of the pasta, not hide it. Just as you wouldn’t put so much ketchup or special sauce on a hamburger that you can’t pick it up without its dripping everywhere, you also should only use enough sauce to coat and enhance—rather than drown —each noodle.
Pasta can be a delicious part of a healthy diet. Avoid these pasta pitfalls and you will be a pasta pro in no time.
I agree with most of what you said, but lately I’ve been doing the trick of using less water and sometimes starting in a cold pot as mentioned on SeriousEats.com. You end up with a higher starch percentage in the water, which helps your sauce. The only downside is that you have to be attentive when the pasta is put in the pot, you can’t just throw it in and go do other stuff.