Note to mods: this is not a duplicate. I am not concerned about pasta sticking.
Note to anyone who wants to stand on their heritage and say only their way is best: I am Italian, I am 45, I have been cooking for my family for my entire adult life, as well as various jobs in food service.
A point of contention between myself and my wife is how we cook pasta. The main differences are: she adds a little oil to the water, I drizzle it in the colander after rinsing; she adds the salt to cold water, I add the salt after the water has boiled.
She prepared the pasta the other night. She had me finish to al dente. It was obvious to the eye that there was a bit of oil swirling in the water.
She hadn't prepared pasta in quite some time (I am a Fascist about some food prep). And since I haven't tasted it prepared her way in some time, I have to say: it was really good. The pasta (cavatappi) seemed softer somehow. I even had some the next day, after having sat in the fridge overnight. It was still very soft and flavorful.
I only rinsed the pasta (didn't also drizzle oil post-rinse). Putting the leftovers away after dinner, the pasta was not sticking terribly.
So, again, I know this is not the traditional way of preparing a pot of pasta. But I have to say, it was delicious.
I guess what I'm looking to find out is whether anyone has some science to back up why adding oil to the boil would improve taste and texture.