The Perfume of Food

porcini pasta

Since I embark on my cooking journey, I have discovered various ingredients that surprise me. Among them is a group which I refer them as the perfume of food. From lime, mint, pepper to porcini, saffron and truffles, these ingredients has the power to transform the flavor of a dish like magic!

I am fortunate to have the chance of using dried porcini in some of my dishes and today I would love to share this simple pasta recipe which most of you are familiar with.

Aglio Olio with Porcini

Dried porcini mushrooms

Your favorite pasta (I used spaghetti no.3)

Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Chopped garlic

Sea salt

Freshly crushed black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil


Chopped fresh basil

White wine

Soak porcini mushrooms in hot water for half an hour. Chop it into small pieces and set aside for later use. Keep the water as well.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt follow by pasta. Cook to al dente.

Heat up olive oil in a pan and fry garlic with whole cherry tomatoes. Put in salt and pepper. When the tomatoes become soft, put in porcini and saute till the mushroom’s flavor fills the air. Deglaze the pan with white wine, mushroom water and some pasta water. Throw in chopped basil. Drain pasta from water and toss them in the pan with rest of the ingredients.

Serve with grated parmigiano and more basil with a good bottle of bianco.

Can you share another ingredient that can create magic?

49 thoughts on “The Perfume of Food

    1. Thank you Sofia! There is nothing more magical than throwing in fresh home-grown herbs into cooking. I’ve just bought a little pot of mint to start off in hk. Hope it works! Warmly, Danny

    1. Thank you so much Francesca! Same here, sweet basil is my fave. I can almost eat it with anything 🙂 I was so sad to depart with my pots of fresh basil when I moved here to hk. Haven’t got chance to use fresh thyme yet. Maybe I should start planting them all over here. 🙂

    1. Thank you Pamela. Look for them, I am sure you can create fantastic gourmet from it. Can’t wait to see what you will be creating. Saw your give away in your recent post. Too bad I’m not in the states…would love to have them 🙂

  1. A gorgeous dish Danny! After seeing this recipe and another a few days ago using porcini in a comforting risotto, I’m off to buy some as soon as possible to give these dishes a try! I love all these perfumed ingredients too – that’s really what brings food to life! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Margot! Always love to see your comments. I am sure you will be able to elevate the flavour of this dish even more. And porcini risotto sounds heavenly. So glad you share the same view for these incredible ingredients. I really miss cooking more often with great music and a glass of vino. 🙂 Today is Lunar New Year – Year of the Horse. I wish that you will have all the power and energy of a horse to achieve all your goals in this powerful year! Warmly, Danny

  2. These are ingredients with such fresh flavors. Kudos on coining the term “perfume of food”- such an elegant phrase!

    1. Thank you so much Lindy! If you try, do let me know how it worked for you. You know what, somehow I am really tempted to bake your tomato soup cake again. I can feel it calling to me 🙂

    1. Karen! I am always happy to see your comment. Thank you so much for stopping by. I am sure you have created many scrumptious recipes with it. Warmly, Danny

  3. Hi Danny, I am back and what a pleasure to be here looking at your beautiful food. I’ve got a new job as the Assistant Director of a wonderful retreat for writers and one thing that I have a lot of input in is food! So I shall be using your ideas I know for sure. I hope life is good for you. I know that you have moved. What else?

    1. Gabriela!!! My heart skipped a beat when I saw your comment notification on my email and also your latest posts. You have been missed big time my friend. So happy to hear from you and congratulations on your new job. It must be really fun and rewarding. It’s been close to six months since I’ve moved here. Work is busy but I am more settled in as days pass by. All good. Just less time to cook and bake but I’m not giving up 🙂 Warmly, Danny

  4. It’s true, scent has so much influence over the entire experience of a dish, which many people take for granted. An aromatic ingredient really sets the tone, and if it’s something as savory as porcini mushrooms, then I can’t wait to dig in! 🙂

    1. Thank you for your very nice comment my friend. Always brightens up my day. Hi five! 🙂 You can really see the power of such ingredients in a pot of curry. It is marvelous! Now I’m hungry…

  5. This is such a timely post Danny, I actually have some dried porcini in the cupboard that I am yet to use. Your pasta dish sounds like a wonderful recipe to use it in! But more importantly, how are you? It’s been forever and I can see that I’ve missed a couple of posts. Hope that life is treating you well!

  6. Hi Danny! I noticed your presence today with a “like” on my apricot clafoutis post. So nice of you to stop in. Miss your posts! Hope you are doing well and life is good. 🙂 Best, Seana.

    1. Hi Seana! I’m so happy to see your comment ^^ Thank you for writing. Work is busy but I am still cooking whenever I have the energy. Just not enough time to start posting yet. Your apricot clafoutis look so good! I love fruit trees and wild apricots sounds amazing. Take care and keep cooking! I’ll log in whenever I can. 🙂 Warmly, Danny.

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