Recipes for "Morning After Pumpkin Bread" and "Ineffectual Eggplant Parmigiana" should clue readers in that Giulia Melucci's I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti is no how-to on gaining a man's heart through his stomach, Joyce Wadler writes for the New York Times. Melucci—"a former publishing publicist who is hilarious, good-looking, and as restrained as Joan Rivers on crack"—recounts her checkered love life in a style Wadler dubs "Sex and the City with recipes."
A New Yorker cartoonist dumps Melucci over e-mail. A Scottish writer uses her to get a book deal. With each failed relationship, Melucci, now 42, wallows in insecurity. "She's the classic woman who cooks too much and worries about being perfect," Wadler writes. "She never, however, self-medicates with that single-girl painkiller, the pint of Häagen-Dazs, and she always makes lovely meals for herself."