Raito - Red Wine Sauce with Herbs and Olives

3:10 pm on 8 July 2011

(makes 3 cups)


  • 2 onions
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 450gms tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup  walnut pieces, chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley
  • 3 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup black olives (pitted)


Peel both onions, stud 1 onion with cloves, and finely chop the other. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute, stirring often, until browned, 5 to 7 minurtes. Whisk in the flour and cook until bubbling. Stir in the wine, water, tomatoes, whole onion, garlic, walnuts, fennel seeds, pepper and salt. Tie the thyme, rosemary, and parsley sprigs in a bundle with kitchen string and add them to the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Discard the whole onion and the bundle of herbs, and then puree the sauce in a food processor and return it to the pan.

Stir in the capers, olives and plenty of pepper, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Raito will keep tightly covered in the fridge for 3 days, and the flavour will deepen. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat it for serving.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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