Pasta Puttanesca is loosely translated to “street walker’s pasta.” There are a lot of stories about how this name came about. The most popular is that the ladies of the evening in Naples used to make Pasta alla Puttanesca and put it out on the windowsill so that the aroma of the sauce would attract prospective clients. Kind of a silly story, but people seem to like it.
Now, lets talk about anchovies. I know there are probably a lot of people out there who think they don’t like anchovies, and may be tempted to make this excluding them. You certainly can do that if you want, but I am going to ask you nicely not to. Please try it at least once with the anchovies. Chopped up they practically dissolve into the oil when sautéing them, so you don’t have to worry about biting directly into or tasting anchovy. What you will taste, however, is a depth of flavor that will be missing if they are left out. Trust me.