Mix together the breadcrumbs and water and set aside.
Then combine the beef, egg, cheese, basil, onion, garlic, salt, oregano and pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Blend the bread crumb mixture into the meat mixture.
Shape into 2-inch balls.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook the top half.
Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Finish the meatballs by cooking them in simmering marinara sauce for about 15 minutes.