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Who's Cooking: Lisa Cocchi

Lisa Cocchi of Brentwood holds a dish tagliatelle

Lisa Cocchi of Brentwood holds a dish tagliatelle carbonara with goat cheese. (Feb. 18, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A freelance hairdresser, she lives in Brentwood with her husband, Bruce, and mother, Phyllis Masiello. Her stepson Luke, 15, is a big fan of her cooking.


How did your passion for the culinary arts begin? My grandfather was from Italy, and my grandmother was French from New Orleans. They lived in Brentwood and had an acre farm and were always coming up with ways to cook the fruits and vegetables they grew. As they got older, I began cooking for family holidays.

What items in your kitchen characterize you as a cook? I'm addicted to All Clad cookware, and I grow my own herbs. And in my freezer, I always have my sauce.

Who are some of your current cooking influences? I watch a lot of Food Network: "The Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten; Rachael Ray, and Giada de Laurentis.

How does your work as a beautician play into the way you cook? I pay attention to the way things look and are plated. My husband, who works in fine catering, will alway tweak everything a little.

Name three signature dishes your family just adores. Everybody loves my sauce, my eggplant lasagna and my pork crown roast. Another favorite is my carbonara, made with goat cheese.

What are your favorite restaurants? The American Hotel in Sag Harbor is our number one. We also like Mario's in Hauppauge, Angelina's II in Syosset and Le Soir in Bayport.


Lisa's Tagliatelle Carbonara with Goat Cheese

1 pound tagliatelle

¼ cup olive oil, or enough to coat saucepan

1/2 pound pancetta, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, minced

2 Fresno chili peppers, seeded and chopped

Pinch crushed red pepper, optional

1/2 cup of dry white wine

6 ounces goat cheese at room temperature

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup frozen peas

Chopped fresh parsley, to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Sprigs of fresh parsley for garnish


1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water until al dente.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat large saucepan coated with olive oil over high.

3. Add pancetta and cook until golden brown. Then add garlic, shallots, chili peppers and crushed red pepper, cooking 2 to 3 more minutes until ingredients begin to brown and slightly crisp.

4. Add wine to deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits and cooking until slightly reduced.

5. Add goat cheese, allowing it to melt into the sauce. Remove from heat and allow to rest.

6. Drain pasta, retaining about 1 cup of cooking water.

7. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks, then slowly add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to temper the eggs so they don't scramble.

8. Add egg mixture to pancetta mixture and pour over pasta, mixing well.

9. Add peas, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper, toss and taste for seasoning.

10. Allow to rest a few minutes so pasta absorbs the sauce. Use the reserved pasta cooking water to moisten if too thick.

11. Serve in a large bowl, garnished with additional parsley sprigs. Pass extra grated cheese. Makes about 6 servings.

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