Dried pasta is basically partially cooked, then dehydrated. The original pasta is made without salt in the recipe in most cases. Just look at the box. If there is no salt in your pasta being cooked, you need to add it during the cooking process to assure the seasoning gets to all areas of the pasta being re-hydrated/cooked.
So the question is naturally, how much salt should I use. You can blindly follow the box, which will usually work, but as a nerd I like to know exactly how to repeat my success, and why.
“Pasta boiling water should be as salty as the sea”
First to dispel the myth that you should salt this water to the salinity of Sea water. No way. That is a crazy amount of salt. Sea water is on average about 35 parts per thousand salt to water by weight. That’s 3.5% for my fellow maths lovers. Lets say we are cooking with 2 liters of water, that means we are going to use 70g of salt. Look at the pic below to see just how nuts that amount is. Try it if you don’t believe me and let me know in the comments.
“So how much should I use?”
We have settled that the sea is not a good metric for salinity of pasta boiling water. So how much should one use? The magic number is about 1/3 of the salinity of the sea (yes that means sea water is 3x too salty.) That said, tastes vary, so below is a chart that gives an idea of how much to use.
|Water (ml)||Normal Salt @ 1% (g)||Low Salt @ 0.5% (g)||Higher Salt @ 2% (g)||Too Much Salt @ 3% (g)|