On the other hand, then the most practical (and boring!) explanation is that those same prostitutes from Naples were living on a tight budget and often had to make meals from the odds and ends in their pantries.
Whatever history you choose to believe, this is one of our favorite pasta dishes! It's really just a basic tomato sauce that's been dolled-up with black olives, capers, pepper flakes, and anchovies. Served over linguine, the resulting dish is pungent and savory with a good balance of flavors.
Here are a few recipes from around the web.
• Pasta Puttanesca from Epicurious
• Pasta Puttanesca from Mark Bittman
• Pasta Puttanesca with Broken Artichoke Heart Salad (for even more irony!) from Smitten Kitchen
For some extra TLC, why not try your hand at making some fresh pasta to go with?!