How to Cook Al Dente Pasta

I realize that everyone knows how to cook pasta and everyone has their favourite way. But I cannot stand overcooked mushy pasta like the ones that come in cans. And to be honest, when I was in uni, I didn't know how to do anything, not even cook pasta. So here goes:

Pasta of your choice
Water in a Large Pot
Olive Oil, optional

Make sure your pot is large enough to accommodate the amount of pasta you are cooking, pasta needs a lot of water as it expands and you want to still have the pasta swimming in water at the end not having absorbed everything.

To cook the pasta, add salt to the water before boiling to lower the boiling temperature and flavour the pasta. Bring to the boil with the lid on. Take off the lid and leave it off from now on, don't put it back on or else the pot will boil over. 
Add the pasta and swish around to make sure they don't stick together while cooking. 
Bring back to the boil and check occasionally but taking a bite to make sure pasta is cooked but still chewy. Take out to mix into your pasta sauce. 

Normally, you would boil the pasta when you know you're sauce is done because you can transfer the pasta straight into the sauce, but if you didn't get the timing right you can take out the pasta, rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process and toss a little olive oil to stop it from sticking into a giant pasta cake. But this still only works if you are waiting a little while, not a whole hour.

NB: We only like the Barilla brand of pasta, has tried a few different brands when they are on special and he always grumbles that he should have stuck to Barilla. Mum used to use it in her cafe last time.