Oyster Mushrooms and White Onion in White Wine, Lemon, & Garlic Sauce

Oyster mushrooms remind me of a wild mushroom that my Father is an expert at collecting, a skill passed down by generations, commonly known as ‘Sheepshead Mushroom’ – or as we say in the Calabrese dialect, “a nasca.”   This sauce and preparation beautifully complements the tender Oyster mushroom, and is also one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables, shrimp, chicken, or pasta. 

A more traditional recipe in my family for preparing ‘a nasca,’ and other mushrooms, is by adding to sauteed onion, garlic, fresh basil, crushed tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper, simmered over Medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Delizioso!

Oyster Mushrooms and White Onion in White Wine, Lemon, & Garlic Sauce


1 pkg. Oyster Mushrooms (3.5 oz.)

3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 cloves of garlic

1 medium white onion

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 lemon

1/2 cup white wine

2 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. salt

fresh ground pepper

Serves 2


I start by peeling the garlic and onion, washing them, as well as the parsley and lemon.  Set aside on a cutting board (one used for fruits and vegetables).   Dust off any dirt from the mushrooms, rinse under cold water, and then soak in cold water.  Chop the onion in half, then slice into slivers.  Add 2 tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a medium sized skillet.  Heat on High, and after a couple of minutes, add the onion.   Add the whole cloves of garlic.  Saute on High for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously.  Reduce heat to Medium.  While this cooks, drain the mushrooms, rinse, chop coarsely, and add to the skillet with the salt.   Continue to saute, increasing to High, until the mushrooms begin to lightly brown.  Add half of the white wine, and reduce.   Add about 1/4 tsp. lemon zest and the juice of one lemon.  Stir and allow to reduce on Medium heat.  As the liquid evaporates, add the butter and stir – continue to cook on Medium for about 5 to 8 additional minutes.  As the liquid reduces, add the remaining white wine in small portions, as the mushrooms cook for about 10 more minutes.   Toss in half of the parsley, stir, and serve on a plate (as a side or tossed in with pasta).  Use the remaining olive oil and parsley to garnish, as well as freshly ground black pepper to your liking.


  1. I have been trying to find a reference to what my father learned from his father to be “anasca, nasca, nascara……..”Calabrian wild mushrooms. Not sure what my grand father was really saying.
    So far this is the only reference I have found close to a spelling I searched with.
    As I can find no other reference with the spelling you used ” a nasca ” i ‘m curious as to what else you or your dad may know about this word?


    1. Hi Greg. “A nasca” or also spelled “a nascha” is regional dialect so the spelling and pronunciation may change from town to town (and of course, is not known in Italian). The word is the specific type of mushroom that grows in the mountains of Calabria. My family is from Reggio – they would gather these mushrooms from the bases of trees in moist, damp locations. Oyster mushrooms remind me of it, but I have also found that Sheeps Head mushrooms are very similar to what I remember in Italy. Hope this helps!


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