Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

From time to time, I like a good "foodie" book.  There is this comfort factor that goes along with reading about someone who not only makes lovely food, but has TIME to make lovely food.  I like to cook on the weekends and often put up food for the week, but rarely cook more than simple throw-it-together meals midweek, or grab something on my way home.  Listen, I think I've given up on trying to keep salad fixings from going bad.  When you're single and cooking for one, salad goes bad too fast.  I've decided that I'll splurge on the weekly Cafe Zupas salad rather than keep throwing out the stuff I bought at the store!  Having said that, I ran across Giulia Melucci's book, I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "In the early '90s, Giulia Melucci moved out of the Brooklyn home where she was raised full of romantic hopes and her mother’s excellent Italian cooking. She dreamed of finding the perfect guy, but fresh ingredients were scarce. After nearly twenty years of New York City dating she had nothing more than a slew of broken relationships under her belt. Well, that and a heap of delicious recipes, which she shares along with stories of her doomed amorous adventures.

An affectionate alcoholic, a classic New York City commitment-phobe, a hipster aged well past his sell date, and not one but two novelists with Peter Pan complexes no matter what their fatal flaw, Giulia has cooked for them. She suffers each disappointment with resolute cheer (after a good cry) and a bowl of pasta (recipe included), and has lived to tell the tale so that other women may find a better recipe for love or at least go to bed with something good to eat.

You will laugh along with Giulia as she manages to find the lighter side of each disappointment as you swoon over her irresistible culinary creations. Mix one part humor, a dash of sarcasm, and lots of heart then devour this story of a woman looking everywhere for love . . . and finding it on the stove."

Review:  With a witty way of telling a life story and a book full of great recipes, Melucci's story was not only fun to read, but also yummy to devour! Yes, this is very much a single gals journey through relationships and good food, mainly at the same time.  Not one of the men that she dated ever seemed to complain about the fact that she could cook.  Really, what human being would ever complain about a really good cook? With her Italian heritage and her appreciation for good products, the meals she created didn't just please her men, but will easily please her readers as well.

One recipe I jumped on was her angel hair with asparagus.  With a quick saute in olive oil and garlic, the asparagus takes only minutes to cook.  Toss in a bit of angel hair, and top with Parmesan, and what could be better?  What's not to love?  Other recipes in the book included a variety of pasta dishes, breakfast foods, and roasted meats.  Intermingled with Melucci's stories of the men she dated, loved, and lost, you come to believe there will be a giant epiphany at the end of the book, but it's not there, and that feels all right.  In a surprising sense, there isn't really a great arrival point in the book, but more a series of experiences that came into her life.  On the whole, this was a great "journey" story, filled with great food, recipes, and characters who all work together to create an engaging recipe for a book.  Now, if only I could find the energy to cook like she does!

Check out this fun YouTube video with the author where she describes her own book:


  1. When you're single and cooking for one it seems like everything goes bad too fast! Except for chocolate, of course. :)

    Her apartment is really nice.

  2. I remember seeing this one in store...and the title caught my eye then as it's doing now. Sounds like a fun read and the inclusion of recipes...bound to make you hungry! *jots note to keep foodz at hand if reading this book* Thanks for sharing your reading adventure..and happy reading. ^_^

  3. I remember seeing this one around the blogs when it came out! It dropped off my radar, but it does sound really cute. I always love a book with recipes, too.

  4. Cute cute cover. I love books about food!

  5. Heidenkind--I know! It doesn't help that I hate leftovers. :(

    GMR--I did like this one, and the recipes were very doable. Not that I'm terribly intimidated by recipes, but I liked these.

    Meghan & Andrea--You really should try this one out. It's actually a fun mix of sassy story and recipes. :)