I have to start by saying I was prepared to fully enjoy this book. I love spaghetti, and with a title like I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, this was on my must-read list. I wasnt disappointed. It turned out to be a fun, quick read. Guilia has had a series of disappointing relationships, all men I would consider losers, but manages to make it funny.
I love the way she places the recipes inside the narrative, at the point she served them to her love at the time or to her lonely self. Some of the recipes sound delicious, and fairly easy, which is perfect for me. Other have hilarious names that give you a taste of Giulias sense of humour.
After a while, Giulias constant talk about wanting to get married and the fact that she always seems more invested in the relationships than the men started to get a little stale for me. I wanted to yell at her to get a grip, but then she pops up with a funny recipe and I have to laugh and forgive her.
Do Not Read This Book On An Empty Stomach! Now that I have that warning out of the way I will proceed with my review of I Loved I Lost Made Spaghetti: I loved it! On one level Melucci's tome is an insightful memoir of her romantic entanglements. On another level it is a philosophy of cooking book. In short, it is what you would have if you combined Carrie Bradshaw with Carmela Soprano.
Melucci is a successful, Brooklyn, singleton who is looking for her other half. In wooing her suitors Melucci is a devotee of the "way to a man's heart is through his stomach" school. Thus, whenever she meets her next potential Mr. Right she serves up exquisite meals such as: Risotto with Intricately Layered Hearts; Salmon with Lemon-Tarragon Butter; Linguine with Friendly Little Fish, Orzo Salad with Feta, and French Lentil Stew.
Unfortunately, for Melucci, her 5 star efforts in the kitchen are enjoyed by: 1) an alcoholic; 2) a commitmentphobe; 3) an aging hipster; 4) a geriatric lunatic; and 5) a user. Melucci, however, does not lay all of the blame at her boyfriends' feet. Rather she admits that "I had a remarkable ability for turning any picture into the picture I wanted to see: me with a husband. My imagination had the flexibility of a thirteen year-old Chinese gymnast." She also confesses that "maybe I'm not as ready as I think I am."
Still I couldn't help but think when reading about her actions, such as, dropping everything to rendezvous with a new suitor that she might have won him if she hadn't repeatedly violated The Rules. If you are not familiar with this dating bible it preaches that women must "play hard to get" to bag her man. Ironically, Melucci states that she did have a coaching session from one of The Rules authors, but failed to adhere to the advice. Yes, this philosophy is dated, and sexist, but personally I believe it works. Tellingly, Melucci notes that several of her boyfriends later married other women.
I Loved, I Lost, is also a terrific cookbook. Melucci"s philosophy of cooking is surprisingly straightforward and attainable: "the only true essentials . . . are fine ingredients and a sense of how to use them." Hence, the recipes are simple and sound tasty. I have even made a few (Linguine with Friendly with Fishes and a Baby Arugula with Avocado Salad). She also adds thoughtful flourishes to her meals like serving hot meals in warm bowls. This is a nice touch and one that I rarely think to do. Lastly, I especially love her commitment to making enjoyable meals even if she's "only" cooking for one. As she muses, "though I much prefer cooking for two to cooking for one, if one is all I have, I cook for her." Buon Appetito!
Shannon K. (peche) reviewed I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends on
Helpful Score: 2
I don't understand why this book was recommended by NPR and other media outlets. It is boring. I felt that I was listening to the dating woes of a not very interesting acquaintance. The book, and the woes, drag on far too long.
The author is most interesting when she is discussing subjects other than her love life. Her descriptions of her family and her search for the perfect apartment are lively and sincere.
The recipes are mostly variations of simple Italian dishes. Many of them have been 'adapted' from magazines and other authors' cookbooks. If the reader is really looking for recipes, the purchase of a good basic Italian cookbook would be a better choice. The cookbook would spare you the drama.
Cute, funny, fast paced book that any single gal (or former single gal) could easily relate to. I enjoyed reading about her adventures in dating as well as her progression as a cook. PS: You've gotta try her meatball recipe; they are the best I've ever eaten!
An excellent book on dating and food. Giulia describes her boyfriends with a dash of recipes scattered throughout. As you find yourself seeing a little bit of your relationships through the author, you can cook yourself a wonderful meal.
This is a review of the audio book version - not recommended as an audio book because of the many recipes included by the author. If I had known just how much of the book were receipes, I would definitely have requested the hardback or paperback version. The story itself is cute but read it, don't listen to it.