Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook another few minutes. Add the meat and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until the meat is cooked through and crumbled.
Move the meat aside and add the tomato paste to the pan and let it heat up a bit on its own before stirring it into the meat sauce. Cook about 5 minutes. The meat will start to stick to the pan a little.
Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme and bay leaf. Stir together.
Add the hot water and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the sauce just simmers. Cook uncovered about 2 hours, stirring periodically. Add more hot water if the sauce gets too thick.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. You can pass the spaghetti and the sauce separately or mix it together and serve. Either way, pass the grated Parmesan on the side.