Green as a Thistle last week mentioned the idea of boiling water, adding dry pasta, covering the pot and turning it off for 20 minutes. One of her readers said this is a common method to cook pasta in Italy (where they oughtta know).
I tried it on Friday. Verdict? 20 minutes was a tad too long for my taste (my bucatini was a ways past al dente). But the method worked great! And while the cooking took a few minutes longer, on my stove it will save more than 2,000 BTUs of natural gas – saving me $0.03 per use and, of course, reducing ye olde carbon emissions.