'Social' food is a good one for a dinner party; something in a huge pot or pan that's served in the middle of the table, for everyone to get stuck into.
Paella is a good one, not that it fits with the whole Italian/Traditional thing. Although 'traditional' could mean traditional in different countries, so Paella is a traditional Spanish dish.
Chinese food, such as chicken in some sort of sauce, with rice.
Roast chicken/traditional Sunday roast meal/Christmas dinner?
I think that someone giving a dinner party would cook the sort of food that doesn't lend itself instantly to individual portions (e.g. lamb chops or something would be a bit of a pain as you'd have to have the exact number of chops!), and also something that can be cooked quite easily, or that can be left without your attention for a few minutes whilst you went to welcome guests. If you served potatoes/vegetables, then it would be easier/more sociable if you could put the food in dishes in the middle of the table and people could then help themselves.
I wouldn't call cottage pie Italian!
I'd call it traditional english lol
What about a simple spaghetti bolognaise?
Or Lasange and serve it with garlic bread
Oh duh just read the thread properly
Italian and traditional lol
Which brings me to say...Curry! Naan! Bajjiis! The lot!
Black pasta with scallops, squid, prawns and a mild chilli sauce. Italian, but not traditional