This is not a regular beef stew. This has an Italian twist but is still easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.
Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain, set the mushrooms aside and reserve the liquid.
Using a sharp knife make little slits in the pieces of the beef. Cut three of the garlic cloves and the bacon into thin strips. Then insert bacon and garlic pieces into the slits in the beef and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add half the beef and brown well on all sides. Repeat with the remaining beef. Transfer to a plate. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook until lightly browned. Crush the remaining garlic and add to the onions along with the meat.
Stir in the wine, passata, mushrooms, cinnamon, rosemary and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring often. Strain the mushroom liquid and add to the stew with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer the stew very gently for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Lift the pieces of meat out of the gravy and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Drain the pasta and layer in a serving bowl with the gravy and cheese. Serve with the meat.
NOTE: Tomato purée is sometimes referred to by its Italian name, passata di pomodoro, when it has been "passed" through a sieve to remove seeds and lumps. To prepare tomato purée yourself wash ripe tomatoes and remove the skin. Then chop and mash to the desired consistency. A food processor is best for this and then force the mash through a strainer to achieve a smooth textured tomato purée. You can also substitute regular tomato paste or sun-dried tomato paste for passata.