Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Chop 1 cut of hazelnuts. Place remaining hazelnuts in food processor and finely ground.
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda and ground hazelnuts, add to creamed mixture alternately with ricotta being just until combined. Fold in pears and chopped hazelnuts.
Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 50 to 65 minutes, test at 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, remove and cool completely.
Frosting: In a heavy saucepan, heat and melt butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, stir in milk,vanilla and confections sugar to reach desired consistency, pour on cake and add a few chopped hazelnuts on top