Balotelli gave Italy an eighth-minute lead with a well-taken penalty after Malta defender Luke Dimech floored Stephan El Shaarawy in the penalty area.
Malta had a two excellent opportunities to level as captain Michael Mifsud had a penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon and, minutes later, rattled the crossbar with a long-range drive.
The hosts paid dearly for the misses as Balotelli doubled Italy's lead on the verge of half-time with a volley after a surging run by right-back Mattia De Sciglio.
Italy easily preserved their two-goal advantage in the second half to strengthen their grip on top spot in Group B with 13 points from five games.
- Sports & Recreation
- Stephan El Shaarawy