Oh hey there, superstar cook!

So happy you’re here!

I’m Lori, the recipe developer, photographer, and author of over 200 Italian recipes here at Josie + Nina. 

You might want to call me Josie or Nina (and I’ll answer!) but they’re my two Italian grandmas who I named this site after.

Josie + Nina made putting hearty, home-cooked meals on the table look easy— every day. No matter how many were going to be around the table!

For the past 5+ years, I have developed, tested (and taste and test again), photographed and written each recipe with YOU in mind. Every recipe I share at J+N has to fit your busy lifestyle and it has to work.


Here you’ll find recipes to gather, celebrate and feed your people . Authentic, approachable and simple Italian recipes —some perfect for simmering stovetop on a lazy Sunday afternoon—while others created to help you get a quick meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.


Let’s talk about you

I’m guessing you’re here because you’re hungry and you have people to feed, right? (Or maybe you’re a member of my family and my mom/sister told you to stop by…if so—hi there!!)

I know this page is supposed to be about me…but to be honest, I’m not great at bragging about myself. But I do that below if you want to get right to it.

Instead, let’s chat for a minute about you.

You may have stumbled upon my little site and thought “how” and “why?”.

As in “HOW is this food blog any different from the millions of other ones out there?”

To be honest, in many ways, it’s not.

Yup, I said that.

Like most sites on the www, at Josie + Nina,  you’ll find:

  • recipes divided into categories like appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups and desserts.
  • a recipe index and search that helps you quickly find what you’re looking for
  • an easy to read recipe card with tips and notes to help you make the recipe
  • a “jump to recipe” button that allows you to skip all the tips and notes I include to help you make the recipe efficiently and easily.

If the “jump to recipe” button is all you’re here for, great! Take a peek below at some of my most popular recipes and have fun jumping around [insert House of Pain melody here].

beef tenderloin sandwich with arugula and horseradish sauce on a gray slate board.

Beef Tenderloin Sliders

tablescape of white plate and fork with large piece of crispy chicken parmesan garnished with basil

Very Crispy Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana)

Stacked Italian beef sandwich halves wrapped in parchment

Dutch Oven Chicago Italian Beef Recipe

Plate of pappardelle with ragu bolognese.

Tender Ragù Alla Bolognese (no milk)

BUT…if you really are inspired to learn to cook Italian food with someone who loves to teach and help, keep reading…

Why Josie + Nina is different

If you’re here because you want to learn a new recipe (and an Italian recipe at that) from a culinary instructor and an experienced home cook of more than 35 years who doesn’t believe that cooking is dumping cans and boxes of processed ingredients in a dish and throwing it in the oven, you’ve come to the right place!

You belong here if:

  • Italian food is one of your favorites cuisines to explore
  • you love to cook with fresh ingredients that are easy to find in your local grocery or farm stand
  • creating memories through meals is important to you
  • you want recipes that you can count on and work— every time!

Recipe Basics:

Every recipe centers around a few basic guidelines:

  • Big, bold flavors and well-seasoned food. I don’t shy away from kosher salt (especially in pasta!), crushed red pepper, and garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. “Bland” isn’t a word you’ll find in my recipe cards!
  • Ingredients you can find at your local grocery stores. Living in Chicago, I shop mostly at Costco, Trader Joe’s, Jewel-Osco, Meijer, and Caputo’s.
  • Very limited use of processed ingredients. Aside from the occasional use of premade whipped cream in my mint chocolate chip ice cream cake or bottled garlic in my most requested pepper jack cheese dip, you won’t find boxes and bottles of premade sauces, mixes or packaged meals.
  • Kitchen tools and equipment you already have in your kitchen. And I believe that a pasta machine or pasta attachment for your stand mixer is a must-have.

Features created for cooks

pro tip image

Highlighted “pro tips” throughout the recipe created to help you make it perfectly!

recipe card detail

Ingredients included below the instructions in the recipe card. No more up and down scrolling while you cook from your phone or tablet!

More challenging recipes include timing boxes to help you get meals on the table

woman in blue sweater on steps

My experience

With over 35 years experience in the food industry as a culinary instructor at Williams-Sonoma and a marketing strategist and copywriter in the food ingredient industry for Fortune 500 companies, I know my way around recipe development and have the culinary chops to create homemade authentic Italian recipes your family will ask for on repeat.

In the food blog space, I’ve lead live workshops with industry leader, Tastemaker Conference, participated in high level masterminds and retreats, helped moderate Clubhouse food blog related chats and more.

I live in a Chicago ‘burb where my husband and I recently remodeled a 1941 ranch—talk about a test of a relationship! We have 3 adult kids (who are as food obsessed as me) and a rescue named Maddon, who we love except when we walk him.

At home, you’ll find me either watching Bravo when I should be reading my book club book, yapping on the phone with my friends or online drooling over interior design.

Connect with me

Follow along for the sometimes live but always curious social moments!

A taste memory: a stand-out, sometimes life-changing, food moment seasoned with love

Lori’s Taste Memories


Biting into (and salting!) homegrown Italian tomatoes like apples, ripe from my grandparents’ Pittsburgh gardens, juices running down my arm.


Tasting crispy eggplant parmesan for the first time, oozing cheese, layered with a rich Italian red sauce.


Big family dinners of enormous sheet pan pizzas followed by games of Tripoly and rummy


My first toasted roll and bowl of Cincinnati chili during my four years attending Miami University (where I met my cute husband and recently helped promote, contribute to and celebrate the launch of the first ever alumni cookbook).

Josie + Nina: by the numbers

Author of over 200 Italian recipes


  • 600k + annual readership
  • over 650k pageviews

Social Stats

  • Instagram engagement of 7%
  • 5k + followers across social platforms

Most popular recipes

Check out some of the most popular recipes that more than half a million home cooks have been loving and making over and over…you’re going to love them as much as they do!

tablescape of white plate and fork with large piece of crispy chicken parmesan garnished with basil

Very Crispy Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana)

black dish with tomato sauce covered cheese ravioli and fresh basil leaves.

Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese Ravioli Filling (no egg)

white baking dish with wooden spatula serving some tomato bread pudding and cherry tomato garnish.

Easy Tomato Pudding Recipe

closup of wooden bowl with seasoned pretzels.

The Original Seasoned Pretzel Recipe

Fig bars on cake dish with spatula and napkin on dark background.

Warm Oatmeal Fig Bars (with jam)

baked pizza in a sheet pan with spatula removing a piece.

Grandma’s Sicilian-Style Sheet Pan Pizza

white pan of baked breaded eggplant with tomato sauce, cheese and basil.

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

a bite out of a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake on a white plate.

Truly the Best Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake (Party size!)

blue plate with fettucine alfredo and basil sprinkled on the plate with a spoon of parmesan, a bowl of cheese and blue polka dot salt and pepper shakers.

Butter and Cream Sauce

beef tenderloin sandwich with arugula and horseradish sauce on a gray slate board.

Beef Tenderloin Sliders