Harold McGee (think “Alton Brown before there was Alton Brown”) writes what would seem a blasphemous article about cooking pasta using less water, a change which he estimates would result in “saving 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil.”
I’ve chided relations on occassion for not using enough cooking water for pasta, without ever really knowing why (other than I tend to be a somewhat bossy and annoying backseat cook). But I have always wondered what would happen if you used less water or started with cold.
That’s the difference between me and these other guys: I just wondered. McGee actually tried it!