EAT This Week: Primo’s Italian Bistro’s Carbonara

This week's featured EAT dish is Primo’s Italian Bistro’s Carbonara.
Rob Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next. 

Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish, that when you pay close attention to the minimal ingredients, can shine like the sun on a clear summer day. I tend to feel like most Italian dishes that appear to be simple, are at their best when special care is taken to the ingredients. Ladies and gentlemen, meet this week’s feature. 

Your main players in the traditional dish are some type of cured pork, egg, and a hard cheese. Primo’s take uses pancetta, egg, a touch of onion, Grana cheese, dusting of cracked black pepper, all incorporated into their house-made pasta, crowned with a jewel of freshly julienned basil. 

The pasta is a perfect al dente and each strand latches on to the sauce like it was a parent keeping their child close at a crowded county fair. There’s a nice saltiness from the meat that provides a great contrast to the richness of the pasta. 

The onions add a nice texture (and slightly sweet) component. The basil is the gift that keeps on giving. Like Joe Pesci in “Lethal Weapon 2,” it’s the character that just makes everything better. It brightens up each bite with a subtle earthy spiciness. 

You can’t really go wrong when it comes to pasta at Primo’s. Their delicate touch and the way the sauce soaks into each and every bite, it all gets contained and just intensifies as you move through the dish. If this dish were served homestyle, it probably wouldn’t make its way past my spot at the table. All’s fair in love and delicious pasta – especially when it comes to your position at the table. 

Primo’s Italian Bistro is located at 2180 Lake Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe. For drink and food menus visit them online at or reach them by phone at 530-600-2220.    

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.