Our favorite Italian food?

Pappardelle Bolognese, as served at Savona in Gulp Mills. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

Pappardelle with Bolognese sauce, a glass of pinot grigio, tiramisu for dessert, and a chaser of limoncello.

That's our dream Italian meal, according to Zagat Survey.

The pollsters have long reported that Italian food is the ethnic cuisine of choice of American diners, and it quizzed its readers on their Italian consumption.

And the results are in:

Among the 1,468 respondents who enjoy Italian food, 31 percent reported eating Italian food three or more times per week.

When cooking Italian food at home, 87 percent felt it is important to use authentic/imported ingredients, and when dining out, 94 percent felt it is important that the restaurants use authentic/imported Italian ingredients.

Zagat says a surprising 54 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay $20 or more for a prepared pasta dish - citing pappardelle as their favorite, followed closely by linguine and ravioli. Bolognese is the favorite pasta sauce, followed by marinara and arrabbiata.

When ordering Italian food at a restaurant, 8 in 10 respondents said they avoided ordering dishes they could make at home.

And striking a blow for tradition, 68 percent of surveyors said they do not prefer whole-wheat pasta when it is available. 

Asked if they use a spoon to twirl pasta around their fork. 56 percent said no, 40 percent said yes, and 4 percent say they don't twirl their pasta around their fork.

Tiramisu, with 24% of the votes, was top dessert, followed by gelato (20%) and cannoli (16%). Wow. Spumoni only got 2%.

Pinot Grigio, with 16% of votes, was the top wine choice, followed closely by Chianti (15%) and Montepulciano (14%). 

Limoncello (38%) was the fave spirit, blowing away Sambuca (14%), Campari (13%), Frangelico (13%) and Grappa (11%).

And Mario Batali, with 30 percent of responses, was the respondents' favorite chef/personality specializing in Italian cuisine. Lidia Bastianich (22) and Giada di Laurentiis (19%) were runners-up.

Philly's top-rated Italian restaurants, according to Zagat:

Vetri, Center City

Birchrunville Store, Birchrunville, Chester County

Domani Star, Doylestown

Osteria, North Broad

Tre Scalini, South Philadelphia