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The classic sauce for bucatini is all'amatriciana, a sauce that's commonly associated with Lazio and Rome though the town it's named for, Amatrice, is just over the border into Abruzzo. See Pasta Amatriciana
- Peel and cut the eggplant into ¾ inch cubes, put the pieces in a colander, sprinkle them well with salt, and let them sit for a ½ hour in the sink, while the salt draws out the bitter juices. Rinse and pat them dry.
- Set pasta water to heat, salt it when it boils, and cook the bucatini.
- While doing this, cut the sausage into bite size pieces, add the eggplant and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and sauté the mixture until the sausage begins to brown and the eggplant has wilted.
- Add the tomatoes, thyme, basil and continue cooking covered for about 10 minutes, adding a little more liquid if the sauce looks like it's drying out. When the pasta is done, season it with the sauce and serve it with the cheese on the side.