Mistake #3 Bland Pasta
Dried pasta doesn’t contain any salt, so by itself, it will taste very bland. Don’t think that you can save bland pasta by serving it with an overly-salted sauce. You’ll just end up with salty sauce on bland pasta.
The Fix—Salt the Water
Think of pasta cooking as the noodles absorbing boiling liquid until it is soft and flexible. It stands to reason that the pasta will take on the flavor of water liquid is absorbed.
To adequately season your pasta, cook it in well salted water. The water should taste like the ocean.
You will need about 1 tablespoon per gallon. While this might seem like a lot of salt, keep in mind that only a small amount will be absorbed and the rest will go down the drain.
For additional flavor, you can even consider cooking your pasta in boiling chicken or vegetable broth instead of salted water.
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.