In a large skillet, brown the ground beef (2 pounds) over medium-high heat, crumbling with as it cooks, until browned on both sides (It doesn't have to be cooked all the way through). Remove excess oil.
Add onion (1) and garlic (4) to the beef and cook until the onions are translucent about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large crockpot.
Add the water (1 cup), tomato sauce (3 (15-ounce) cans), petite diced tomatoes with their juice (2 (14.5-ounce) cans), soy sauce (2 tablespoons), Worcestershire sauce (2 teaspoons), sugar (¼ teaspoon), salt (2 teaspoons), pepper (½ teaspoon), Italian seasoning (2 tablespoons), Bay leaves (3) and stir. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours. After the goulash has cooked, remove bay leaves.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta (2 cups) in well-salted water, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain well then stir into crockpot. Add reserved pasta water 1/2 cup at a time to thin the sauce slightly. Only add more pasta water if consistency needs adjusting. Sprinkle cheese over top and serve.