Popular Italian Dishes And Their Origins

Popular Italian Dishes And Their Origins

In Italy, the cuisine has become an influential part of their culture, which has spread all over the world. For Italians, food isn’t seen to just be a form of nourishment, food is life.

So what are some of our most popular Italian dishes at Giovanni’s, and where have they originated from?

Honey and Lime Salmon

One of our most popular dishes at the restaurant recently has been the Honey Lime Salmon, from the Pranzo Lunch Menu and also available as part of the Sunday Lunch Menu. The dish, made up from a roasted salmon steak, marinated in our special honey and lime dressing, served with a quinoa mixed salad and some extra honey and lime sauce for dipping, is proving highly popular in these warmer months. It is seemingly a customer favourite due to it providing a healthier option, as it includes the presently popular superfood, quinoa.

Italian’s are known for their love of seafood and fish, with over 2 million Italian’s personally taking part in the activity each year. Although this dish isn’t specifically attributed to the Italian cuisine, salmon is widely enjoyed in a variety of ways in Italy.

Fritto Misto

A popular, off menu item, which can be regularly found on our specials, the Fritto Misto platter is a large family favourite. Similar to our Antipasto Misto platter, which can be found on the A La Carte Menu, the dish consists of a selection of meats, seafood and vegetables. In the case of our popular Fritto Misto platter, the food is dipped in batter and fried in olive oil.

It is found to be favoured amongst families due to its size, meaning the whole family can tuck into this delicious sharing platter. In Italy, the contents of the platter tend to be whatever foods are currently in season, meaning the platter can change depending on the time of year. The dish is popular all over the country and is attributed to its first known use sometime between 1900 and 1905.


This light, yet flavourful and simple dish has proved to be a wide favourite in Giovanni’s for some time now. Our bruschetta can be found in the sharing section of the A La Carte Menu under ‘bread selection’. The reason for this unusual title for such a classic dish is due to our head chef creating his own spin on bruschetta. We offer the ‘classic’ modern-day bruschetta, brushed with garlic and olive oil and topped with tomato and basil. On top of this, we offer ‘bruschetta Toscana’ which is topped with roasted sweet peppers, garlic olive oil and fresh parsley. These are widely popular within the restaurant as they are a huge Italian staple dish. Our customers love how fresh and light these starters are, the perfect way to begin an Italian meal.

The dish originated in the Etruscan age on the land between Rome and Tuscany. It has been a massive Italian favourite ever since.

Costine di Maiale

Known on our menu as just ‘costine’, this classic Italian dish which translates to ‘spare ribs’ or ‘baby back ribs’, is actually a popular dish amongst many cultures and cuisines. Due to the dishes popularity all over the world, it has lamented itself as a firm favourite at Giovanni’s. Our costine is found on our A La Carte Menu as one of our most favoured starters. It is served in our special Italian ‘sticky style sauce’, full of flavour and definitely lives up to the ‘sticky’ part! Because of our special sauce, the customers love our costine and always come back for more, they particularly love how tender the pork is and so don’t care about getting a bit messy whilst tucking in!

Ribs may not come across as an Italian dish however they are a large part of Northern Italy’s cuisine. Particularly around regions such as Northern Veneto and the Dolomites.

Tagliatella Bolognese

Lastly, but certainly not least, this classic Italian pasta dish is an obvious favourite for many of our customers from our incredible new A La Carte Menu. It is a particular favourite due to the flavourful sauce – which we cook for over 5 hours!! The pasta and meat are both extremely fresh and homemade, giving the dish the perfect combination of flavours and textures. Although this dish seems to be common place now, many customers believe our Bolognese cannot be beaten!

The earliest record of Bolognese actually goes all the way back to the 18th Century! In a cookbook from 1891, Pellegrino Artusi published his recipe for a ‘Bolognese’ sauce made from meat and tomatoes. Artusi even continued on with the recipe to describe how best to make the sauce with pasta, creating the first recorded recipe of this Italian classic!


If this article has rumbled your stomach and brought on a craving for some Italian food, then come and join us at Giovanni’s and try some of these customer favourites yourself! We can be found at 125A King Street, Knutsford, WA16 6EH.

Call us on 01565 632 576 or make a reservation today, or take a further look at all our new menus. We’re sure the quality of our food won’t let you down!

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