The secret to cooking pasta for good tasting Italian dishes is to undercook it, then finish in the sauce so it absorbs lots of saucy goodness. For an easy twist on this, dump a can of chopped clams with the juice into your saucepan of marinara, add some lemon juice and some kind of heat (I use ground red peppers which are available in Italian markets here in the northeast, but you can also use a few flakes of dry crushed red pepper), dump in your undercooked noodles, then simmer until the sauce is absorbed. Basta! You’ve got a pasta dish ready for a sprinkling of parmigiano that’s better than 80% of the food you’ll find in eateries. It’s also very low in fat.
I did a version of this for a local recipe contest in which I fancied up the basic dish by topping with cheese and baking. It’s nice but the basic recipe is just as good.