Linda Yu and Kara Lichtenstein of Hungry in Chicago are photographed at the Sun-Times kitchen studio. | Ashlee RezinSun-Times

Food We Love: A pasta recipe from her childhood still inspires Chicago foodie

As we get older, there is an experience that keeps repeating itself. Each time it happens, we are still surprised. We still say “I can’t believe it.” And then we smile.

That experience? The child of a good friend — we were around when they were born — has grown and matured into a fine adult. And we have not aged at all!

That’s how I feel about Kara Lichtenstein. Her father, Jim, was a co-worker at Chicago’s ABC7 where he ran our assignment desk. Kara’s parents and I became friends. When they welcomed Kara’s older sister into the world, I announced it on TV at the Chicago Emmy Awards show because Jim Lichtenstein was busy at the hospital! A couple of years later, Kara came along.

Now Kara’s a beautiful, poised, successful grownup with a booming career as a social media expert focusing on food. She started with Hungry in Chicago, a company that helps local restaurants, chefs and bars with social media strategy. With 17.5K followers on Instagram, I’m not alone in looking to Kara for sassy takes on restaurants, spiced with her irreverent attitude.

Linguine with clams is what her Dad started feeding her when she was 3 years old. Because she loved it, he even sent leftover linguine with clams to school for her lunch. Who does that?!

Now that Kara has shown me how easy it is to make (and how yummy it is!), I wish I’d made it for my own children and sent it to school, instead of chicken fried rice. Learn more about Kara’s family recipe in the video.

Kara Lichtenstein’s linguine and clams




  • 1 package linguine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • A dash of dry white wine
  • 2 cans (6.5oz each) clams with juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


Cook linguine in salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter with the olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and sauté for minute or two. Add pepper flakes, lemon juice, & wine. Simmer for a minute. Add clams with juice. Simmer for a few minutes. Add al dente pasta to pan. Toss and coat pasta and allow it to finish cooking in the sauce, about 2-3 minutes. Top with parmesan and parsley. Toss. Enjoy!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this segment of “Food We Love with Linda Yu.” Next week, Linda talks to ABC 7’s Jim Rose and his wife, Laskesha about their multi-generational family pot roast tradition. #foodwelove



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