The history of pasta Puttanesca has many colorful Italian folk tales behind this salty tomato sauce.
Some believe that it was a sauce created by a restaurant owner who had many guests come to his restaurant to eat late one night as he was about to close. He didn’t have enough of any one ingredient to make a meal for them all so he took everything out of his kitchen and put it together to make this legendary Italian pasta sauce.
Another not so endearing tale is puttana in Italian means whore. As told by my dear friend Carlo, it was a quick and easy pasta sauce for the puttanas to make in between customers, hence the name puttanesca sauce.
I was also told that puttanesca sauce was named after the term whore because it had everything in it. Because Italians are so frugal they would not throw away any food. They would just make it into this amazing tomato sauce recipe.
And finally one theory is that decent married women would see the ladies of the evening walking on the streets and they would through sauce made of left overs onto them from the balconies of their homes screaming PUTTANA, PUTTANA!