Place the water in a 7-quart pot, add the salt, cover, place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the spaghetti, fanning it into the water so that each strand makes contact. Using a wooden spoon or tongs, gently bend noodles to submerge. Stir for the first 30 seconds. Cover the pot; reduce the heat to medium-high, and return to a rolling boil. Stir occasionally.
In 4 minutes, start tasting. When done, a string of spaghetti should be springy when pulled on. To the tooth, there should be some resistance but not so much that the pasta sticks in the teeth. As soon as pasta is done, drain immediately in a large colander (lidded models are the best). Shake pasta to stop cooking but don't shake dry. And no rinsing!
Place the olive oil and garlic into the bottom of a wide, large serving bowl. Add the pasta to serving bowl and toss to coat. Quickly divide into individual bowls and toss with optional toppings, as desired.