In a large saucepan, cook ground chuck, bell pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain well.
In a Dutch oven, combine drained meat mixture, crushed tomatoes and next 9 ingredients (through bay leaves). Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
Spoon one third of the sauce mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the pasta, then one third of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce and reserving remaining one third of the cheese.
Bake uncovered, 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.