A few weeks ago, there was an article in the Food section of the New York Times about cooking pasta in a reduced amount of water (registration required), written by Harold McGee aka The Curious Cook. (In case you don't know, Harold McGee is a very interesting food writer, who approaches cooking from a scientific angle. If you are of a geeky bent or love reading about the hows and whys of food in general, I highly recommend his book On Food and Cooking.) The gist of the article is that it's possible to cook pasta in far less water than is usually recommended, and that you can even start from cold water!
While the rationale in the article for reducing the amount of cooking water is to save energy, I was intrigued by the possible time saving benefits, especially when making bentos.