Two decades of romantic ups and downs left author Giulia Melucci with a broken heart — but never an empty stomach.
In her literary debut, “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti,” the Park Slope resident and Bay Ridge native details her turbulent love life, as well as reveal recipes she cooked to woo men (“Pear Cake for Friends with Benefits”) and console herself after break-ups (“No Nookie Gnocchi”).
“[The book] combines food with the frustrations of the past 20-odd years of failed dating — and it shows that I wasn’t just failing all that time, I was learning how to cook,” said Melucci, who will read at Barnes & Noble in Park Slope on April 14.
Melucci had long wanted to write a book about her love life, but she worried that the story might be bland if she didn’t include the recipes to spice it up.
“I was just writing about the men in my life — I wasn’t thinking about writing a book about food,” said the writer, whose book details her relationships with cartoonists, drunks and writers, among others.
“But I knew that I had to do something more original.”
Being original meant interspersing brutally honest snippets of love and heartbreak with recipes that are just as personal as her real-life accounts, from the farfalle she cooked after a romantic rendezvous (“First-Date Butterflies”) to post-coital pastries (“Morning-After Pumpkin Bread”).
Here’s a Brooklyn Paper favorite:
1/2 pound of spaghettini (or thin spaghetti)
3 tablespoons white truffle oil
Freshly grated Parmigiano
Freshly ground pepper
Cook spaghettini. Drain and return to pot, add truffle oil. Divide into two bowls, get back in bed, bring along the cheese and pepper. Clothing optional.
Giulia Melucci will read from “I Loved, I Lost, I Ate Spaghetti” on April 14 at Barnes & Noble [267 Seventh Ave. at Sixth Street in Park Slope, (718) 832-9066], 7:30 pm.