My first tandem (ie. conversation exchange) partner in Italy, Anna, told me that when she went to Germany for a year her mother posted her packets of salt, apparently on the theory that Germans didn't have suitable salt for cooking pasta.
You know, I've always used much less water than they say is called for. But I was surprised by the people in the article starting with cold water. I've always boiled the water first, then added the pasta. I would've thought that throwing it in cold water that comes to a gradual boil would have resulted in pasta that sticks to itself much more. Who knew? (Not me, apparently.)
The last few paragraphs about what to do with the thickened pasta water were very interesting. I'll have to try that.