Cut the meat into pieces of about 1½ cm. Heat the casserole dish and fry the pancetta for 5 min. Remove it from the pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Fry the beef on a high heat for 5 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in the pan, add the onions and stir fry for 3 minutes. Put the meat and pancetta back in the pan together with the garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, tomato cubes, wine and 100 ml water. Bring to boil. Place the lid on the pan and simmer the meat for about 2 hours until fully cooked (longer if needed). Use the smallest burner on the stove and if necessary, insert a flame distributor. Stir occasionally. Add extra hot water if necessary.
Add the small tomatoes to the stew for the last 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Before serving, garnish the stew with basil leaves.
Serve the Italian stew with fried gnocchi or crunchy ciabatta