Do you secretly cringe at soggy pasta like I do? Under-cooking it for a minute or even half a minute to make it al dente should be easy to do if you have the patience to watch the clock. So here's how...
1. Read the label. If your pack of pasta says 11 minutes, cook it only for 10 minutes or 10.5 minutes, whichever you fancy.
2. Ensure that your water is boiling rapidly. After which, you're supposed to put a fairly good amount of rock salt. I like using sea salt (even if it doesn't really give you generous amounts of iodine) for the subtle seasoning it adds to the pasta. Add salt only after the water boils, so that you don't ruin your pot (those circular stains you can never remove after you clean, that's what they are).
3. Place your pasta in the water. Do not add olive oil (only do this if you are serving the pasta later on -- and really, you're going to end up throwing it all away, so just drizzle the pasta with the olive oil after it's cooked).
4. Now grab a watch and set the timer. Remember, undercook for a minute or half.
5. Last but not the least, strain. Keep some for tossing into the sauce for its thickening benefit.