In one of the Good Eats: Reloaded episodes Alton Brown talked about changing his method of cooking pasta. The classic approach, which I'm sure we all know, is to boil at least a gallon of water, add salt to the boiling water, then add the pasta. Alton has pushed this approach in the past but is now advocating a new method. Rather than boil a massive amount of water and then add the pasta, the idea is to put the pasta in the dry pot, cover with cold water to an inch over the pasta, add salt, cover the pot, and then turn on the heat. Once the water has hit a full boil, remove the lid and set your timer for 4.5 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and use a spider to fish the pasta out of the water. Save the starchy water to thin the sauce or loosen the pasta later if needed. Two things are going on here. First, you're boiling a lot less water so it comes to a boil a lot faster. Second, the pasta is re-hydrating while the water is coming to a boil so it needs less time after reaching a boil. I know this is not an entirely new idea. A bit of online searching turned up a reference from a few years ago so I don't think this is something originally developed by Alton. Not that he was trying to take credit or anything like that. A search of the forums here didn't turn up anything obvious in the last six years so either this is very old news to everyone or it hasn't been discussed here before (or I searched for the wrong thing). I tried this approach the other night with 0.25kg casarecce. There was maybe a quart of water in the pot. I tried the pasta after 4:30 and thought it needed a bit longer, so I let it go about 5 minutes. The result was great and took way less than half the time it normally would. It takes 20-25 minutes to get a gallon of water boiling on my (very inadequate) stove. I usually get the water started before I begin the sauce (assuming I'm not doing a long cook sauce) and the sauce is ready well before the pasta is. This time the pasta was ready before the leftover sauce had fully reheated. My only complaint was the instructions I found online said to use a tablespoon of salt. This seemed like too much to me so I went with maybe two-thirds that. The pasta was still decidedly salty. Not inedible by any means, but saltier than I liked. I'm thinking maybe a teaspoon of salt next time. Has anyone else tried this method of cooking pasta?