Yes, we did just make that word up. But listen: you can boil the spaghetti to ideal al dente doneness; you can make the most delicious sauce with the best tomatoes. However, the most effective way to marry these two parts is not stirring them together in a serving bowl. Rather, drain the pasta about a minute before it's finished cooking (and reserve a cup of the starchy water in case you need it to thin things out later). Add the noodles to the sauté pan where your tomatoes (or olive oil and garlic
or sage and butter
) are bubbling away. The spaghetti will finish cooking in the pan and—the best part—the heat will help it soak up much more flavor and ensure that each individual piece gets slicked with sauce.