Family remembers life, legacy of Malara's Italian Restaurant owner

Apr 01, 2023 610

BY: Josh Kristianto

An Omaha state senator honored the late owner of an iconic Italian restaurant in the city Friday at the Nebraska Legislature. Most knew her as Grandma Malara, who founded the business that bears her name near 22nd and Pierce 39 years ago. She died this month at age 87. Caterina Malara simply loved to cook, Italian food, to be exact, of which she had innumerable favorites.

"Spaghetti carbonara was one of her favorites to make, she loved making her lasagna, her ravioli. She always prided herself in being able to duplicate a recipe by just tasting it," said Gracie Benak, Malara's third daughter. Born in Italy, Malara and her husband Luigi moved to Omaha with their three daughters to take care of family. When Luigi died in an industrial accident, Malara made the tough decision to stay in Omaha and raise her now-four daughters alone.

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