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Shared by Donna Steinhorn

Strapačky with Farmer’s Cheese

Yield: 6 servingsTime: 45 minutes

Shared by Donna Steinhorn

Strapačky with Farmer’s Cheese
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Strapačky with Farmer’s Cheese

Yield: 6 servingsTime: 45 minutes

Family Journey

Prešov, Czechoslovakia (present day Slovakia)AuschwitzQueens, NY
Rumson, NJ

Growing up, Donna Steinhorn recalls her mother Magdalena making strapačky, a potato based dumpling that’s reminiscent of gnocchi in texture and taste. It was only later in life that Magdalena learned to cook. Before the Holocaust, she attended boarding school and she was taken to Auschwitz when she was only 15. This recipe was passed along to Magdalena from her sister-in-law, who drew upon early memories of Czechoslovakia before the war. Donna’s family used to serve these dumplings, which look like spaetzle, one of three ways: with farmer’s or cottage cheese as a main dish, with a big pile of sauteed onions, as a side side, or with a sprinkling of sugar, for dessert. Today, Donna likes to serve the strapačky with a dollop of cheese and a mound of onions. 

Read more about Donna’s family in “A Childhood Where the Holocaust Was Always Present, But Never Spoken Of” and try her recipes for stuffed veal breast and sweet cabbage noodles


  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 scant cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz. farmer’s cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Step 1

    Peel the potatoes and finely shred them using a box grater. Add the egg to the shredded potatoes and mix to combine.

  • Step 2

    Add the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until a loose, cake-batter-like dough forms.  Add the salt and mix to combine.

  • Step 3

    Add 2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Use a teaspoon to drop little bits of dough into the boiling water. (Tip from Donna: My mom would put it on a plate and scrape the dough into the water.)

  • Step 4

    When the strapačky are done they will float to the top of the water; remove them with a strainer and transfer to a lightly oiled sheet tray or large plate, so they don’t stick.

  • Step 5

    Saute the onions. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then cook for 7-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, golden and deeply fragrant.

  • Step 6

    Add the strapačky to the pan along with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Mix, tossing to combine with the sauteed onions, and let saute for another 2 minutes, until the last of the butter is melted and the strapačky are slightly crisped in places. Remove from heat.

  • Step 7

    To serve, divide the strapačky between bowls; top with mounds of farmer’s cheese, sauteed onions and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.