In a medium to large sized pot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, over high heat until onion is translucent and whole house smells good, about 4 minutes. Add ground beef and smash down with the tip of your wooden spoon to break it up. Brown beef well.
When you think it’s been browned long enough and it’s time to give it a stir to redistribute the meat for more browning – STOP – wait another minute and a half to two minutes, and then stir up the meat. Do this repeatedly until all the meat is good and brown. This is important for the end result. For a good meat sauce, you want your meat to have browned sufficiently, and most people don’t give it enough time. In all, this process should take 12-15 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes, then cover pot and simmer a further 30 minutes. This is as long as I cook it for my family, the sauce is as thick as we like it. If you like your sauce thicker, cook it uncovered slightly longer before covering the pot (another 5-10 minutes?). If you like your sauce thinner, cover the pot after 25-30 minutes of simmering before continuing with the additional half hour.
Fish out bay leaves, chilis (if using), allspice berries and cinnamon sticks.
This recipe makes quite a lot of sauce, which is a good thing as you can freeze what's left to enjoy on another day, when there's little to no time to cook a homemade meal.
To make authentic greek-style pasta: Cook pasta (I usually use spaghettini, but not exclusively) in the regular way until al dente. Drain.
In the dry pot you cooked the pasta in, add the butter (BUTTER, not oil, not margarine); melt and brown the butter. This takes about 3-4 minutes at high heat. Turn off heat source and add spaghetti back to the pot. Toss to coat with browned butter.
Put spaghetti in large platter, pour half of sauce over, sprinkle with about 1/2 cup myzithra cheese.
Put the remaining sauce in a deep bowl and serve at the table for people to top off their pasta along with extra grated cheese.