When it comes to your romantic relationships…what do you bring to the table? Maybe you have confidence in your sparkling sense of humor, or your impeccable sense of style, or maybe your wow-factor is in the bedroom. Well, for Giulia Melucci, it’s her ability to cook up a mean bowl of pasta!
I came across Giulia Melucci’s I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends while researching breakup issues online for BounceBack.com and I admit, I was more than wary of yet another chick lit book appealing to foodies. Yet, Guila’s honest, open and often hilarious narrative of dating disasters and relationship dramas – each earmarked with an easy-to-follow recipe or two that commemorates the moment – left me feeling like I was catching up with a long lost BFF. In other words…I was hooked.
This Italian-American girl from Brooklyn knows her way around the kitchen (think Carrie Bradshaw meets Rachael Ray). Giulia describes her ability to cook as the one thing about herself in which she is “most confident.” As she unfolds tale after humorous tale of the men who come into her life, the hopeful relationships that ensue, and the sometimes bitter yet always inevitable breakups that leave her crushed, she weaves in recipes that are not just footnotes to the story….they are the story.
Her men are wooed with dishes like “Risotto with Intricately Layered Hearts,” and “Spaghettini in a White Truffle Oil Pegnoir.” And when they break her heart, she bounces back with comforting and fun recipes like her infamous “F--- You Cakes,” or her childhood favorite, “Pastina.” Despite breakup after bitter breakup, Giulia never loses her sense of self…or her sense of humor. (I can’t wait to try her recipe for “Italian Grilled Cheese for Teenage Wasps”).
If you’re bouncing back from a relationship breakup or divorce, Ms. Melucci may not have advice on how to find Mr. Right…but her book gives single girls everywhere hope, insight, inspiration…and the power to toss the take-out menus and enjoy a home-cooked meal (and yes, it’s most definitely worth cooking a gourmet supper for one).
Jennifer is a freelance TV producer and writer in NY and LA.