Case in point today: spaghetti.
The sauce went in around noon, and by 3 p.m., it was smelling pretty good. Next up, pasta. But heating up a big pot of water that will later just be drained seemed like a waste. Could there be a better way? I knew if I just threw in the dry pasta into the sauce, it would cook, but it would absorb all the liquid and the starch would leach into the sauce, making it gummy and not so appetizing.
But with the vacuum bags from the store, there was another option: Put the dry pasta, broken in half, in the bag with water; seal; then put the washed bag into the sauce to cook along with it until dinner time.
It worked - well, it sort of worked.
When I checked on it two hours later, it had more than doubled in size. And when I opened it, it was in separate strands, but it was overdone and very starchy. I rinsed it and got most of the starch off of it, then added it to the sauce. Topped with Parmesan, it was good, but not great.
From what I've read on sous vide cooking, the length of time shouldn't have been the problem, so perhaps I used too much water. Next time, instead of doubling the water to pasta, I'll just use a bit more than what's needed to cover it.