Sauce Raïto

A Warm Tomato, Wine, and Onion Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

The Cuisine of the Sun

By Mireille Johnston

Published 1990

  • About

A variety of fish can be simmered in this fragrant sauce: dried cod, whiting, fresh cod, halibut, belly fish. Since the traditional vin cuit is hard to prepare, here we have replaced it with a sweet red vermouth or a rich red wine.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups good red sweet vermouth or red wine (taste carefully)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, or 1⅓ cups canned, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons oregano or savory
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup unpitted little black olives from Nice, or pitted oil-cured Greek or Italian olives
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped gherkins


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the onions and cook slowly for 20 minutes until soft. Add the vermouth or wine and the water. Stir and boil for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, oregano or savory, bay leaves, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. It should be quite thick.

Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaves and pass the mixture through a Mouli food mill. Check the seasonings (the sauce should be pungent) and correct them if necessary. Add the olives, capers, parsley, and gherkins and cook for an additional 5 minutes.