Do not be in a rush when you make this mild, comforting, homey sauce: Bolognese.
The pleasure of making a Bolognese recipe, if you are not in a rush, is that each of the steps add a new layer of flavor and dimension, and condenses and coaxes the sweetness from each group of ingredients. Each step, sauteeing the vegetables, browning the meat, reducing the wine, takes a little while. None of them are particularly difficult. Making it provides the perfect excuse to stay home in your slippers—and finish reading your book, while it simmers in the background making your kitchen smell like the good life.
The trick to making this process even more relaxing is to do all of the mise en place—prepping and chopping and measuring—ahead of time, so that the toil is over with when you head to the stove.
This Bolognese recipe cooks for a long long time so that the vegetable pieces are soft and small, and the surrounding sauce is thick and clings nicely to pasta of various sizes. Traditionally, it is tossed with thick ribbons but I sometimes use chubby rigatoni, or (look away) skip the pasta altogether and serve it on a bowl of mashed potatoes. There’s really no reason I can think of to make a single batch. Make a double batch, and eat half and store the other half for later, when you need some home-cooked comfort.