In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallots, garlic, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg. With a wooden spoon, stir in the ground beef, orzo, ricotta and basil. Add the salt, pepper and 1/4 cup water and mix well.
Bring the marinara to a simmer in a shallow 12-inch skillet. Form the meat mixture into balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each). Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve on small toothpicks or skewers.