To make the Italian tomato sauce, place the olive oil in a heavy-based stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then add the basil, sugar and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to your required consistency, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so that the sauce does not stick to the pot and burn. Discard garlic clove.
Note: Tomatoes need to be ripe and flavorsome for this recipe. Use quality fresh tomatoes only in the summer months of the year. Alternatively, use 800g San Marzano canned tomatoes.
Prepare your food mill over a clean ceramic bowl. Ladle the cooked Italian tomato sauce into the food mill and stir to collect the lovely tomato pulp and juice in the bowl. Discard the tomato skins and seeds that are left in the food mill.
Stir the Italian tomato sauce and transfer to a large frying pan. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce is simmering and slightly thickened. Using the back of a wooden spoon, make 4 small indentations about the size of a fried egg into the Italian tomato sauce. Crack one egg into each indentation. Season the top of the eggs with sea salt. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs. The egg whites should be cooked through and yolks still soft.
Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano grated over the eggs and Italian tomato sauce. Sprinkle torn basil leaves on top. Serve the Uova alla contadina (saucy peasant eggs) immediately with plenty of crusty bread – Buon appetito.