Basta pasta? Never. At this moment in our culinary history, with a rustic new panini bar or elegant osteria opening nearly every week, New York has officially consummated its love affair with Italian food. No matter how much there is, we never seem to get enough. “It’s the kind of food you can eat every day,” says Fiamma chef Michael White. “It makes the most of seasonal ingredients, letting them stand on their own.” That’s also what makes it a natural for summer entertaining. We invited White and seven of his equally impassioned peers to put together an Italian-flavored feast resounding with freshness and simplicity, from Mario Batali’s savory seafood and vegetable antipasti to Tom Valenti’s zesty charcoal-grilled chicken and panzanella, which truly shines, he says, “when the tomatoes are gorgeous.” Parsley-packed salsa verde transforms David Pasternack’s succulent grilled calamari, and potent red-wine mayo meets its mouthwatering match in Rocco DiSpirito’s cured-beef bruschetta. White’s piquant pasta salad is picnic-perfect, and Scott Conant shows why his supernal spaghetti and tomato sauce has caused such a stir. “People want something they can recognize,” he says. It might look familiar, but it tastes spectacularly fresh.