Just a pinch won’t do it, according to Del Posto chef Mark Ladner. To truly bring out the flavor of the pasta, add one tablespoon of salt per quart of water. As Mario Batali points out, the water should taste “like the sea” (note: do not taste boiling water). As far as timing goes, wait until the water is boiling, but before you’ve put in the pasta. This allows the salt to infuse the water without affecting the boiling time.