Its important to start checking for doneness after three or four minutes. When you bite into pasta, your teeth will tell you if it's done. Spinach and whole wheat pastas are good too and can be used in any recipe.
Italy is one of the biggest consumers of pomodori. We always have multiple tomatoes in the fridge. One option is the "Ciliegini" type: they are small and grow in clusters; perfect in summer for salads and cold pasta. "San Marzano" tomatoes have an elongated shape and are perfect for salsa and intricate recipes. "Cuore di Bue" (meaning "Ox Heart" for their shape) have an aromatic pulp and are perfect for salads.